Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 11/06/98

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Weeks of 10/31-11/6, 1998

 

Monitoring

Packs in the Yellowstone, central Idaho, and NW Montana areas appear to be in their normal home ranges.

Citizens reported wolves in the Garnet Range in Northwestern Montana again and tracks of multiple animals were seen. Observations also indicate a wolf might be east of Corvalis, MT. A pair of wolves were reported near Jackson, WY. We appreciate all reports of wolves, please encourage the public as well as agency co-workers, to continue to report suspected observations of wolves.

Wolf #83, a yearling male, recently dispersed from the Murphy Lake pack in NW Montana and was missing for about 2 weeks. He was killed on November 1 by a hunter near Sparwood, British Columbia about 60 miles north of the Canadian border.

 

Control

Nothing new to report.

 

Research

The 30-day Yellowstone wolf predation rate winter study will begin on November 15. The Nez Perce Tribe is considering initiating a study of wolf and livestock interaction in central Idaho in 1999. The primary purpose would be to document causes of livestock death in areas with confirmed wolf depredations.

 

Information and education and law enforcement

Bangs, Doug Smith, Wayne Brewster, and Jim Claar hosted and participated in an interagency meeting at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, WY on November 2 and 3. About 40 people attended. The National Park Service (Yellowstone and Grand Teton), Forest Service (from throughout the Greater Yellowstone Area), Wyoming Wildlife Services, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, US fish and Wildlife Service (LE, National Elk, and ES) and several local ranchers, and other interested people attended. Wolf recovery efforts and wolf management policy was reviewed. The single biggest need cited by participants was good communications as wolves move into the Jackson area.

The Helena Office has been overwhelmed with requests for the 1998 Wolf Awareness Week posters. If you are with an agency and involved in wildlife education and information we will get some to you if you request them, but it may take time. The poster would be great for classrooms and public presentations. We will not be sending copies to private individuals.

The Court turned down a request for an emergency injunction that would have prevented the Service from lethally controlling any livestock depredating wolves until the Appeal case is settled or their identity as reintroduced animals was proven. Fontaine assisted Justice attorneys with information for their brief to the 10th Circuit.

A manuscript for The Wildlife Society Bulletin was drafted by a bunch of the interagency wolf cooperators.

Service law enforcement agents in Idaho are bringing charges in two cases of wolves being killed in central Idaho. One case involved an individual from out of state. The other case involved a person from Idaho. Good work!

The Defenders of Wildlife is coordinating a National Conference "Restoring the Wolf" in Seattle, WA on November 12-14. Several papers will be presented on wolf restoration in the northern Rocky Mountains, as well as other recovery programs.

 

Please help with wolf monitoring efforts by reporting suspected wolf observations. If you are out hunting and see wolf sign please us know! Reclassification, and the resulting increased management flexibility that would result from a threatened status depends upon the number of documented breeding pairs. PLEASE REPORT WOLF SIGHTINGS ASAP. THANKS!!

 

The Service's weekly wolf report can now be viewed at the Service's Region 6 web site at http://www.r6.fws.gov/wolf in addition to the regular distribution.

Contact: Ed Bangs (406)449-5225 x204 or Internet-ED_BANGS@FWS.GOV