Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 3/31/97

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 3/18-31/97

 

Monitoring

Montana

The Thompson pack has obviously split into several different groups. The alpha female, wolf #1718, was located south of Browns Meadow on March 19 with another wolf, presumably a male. Both wolves were resting on an open slope. The female seemed overly large and several holes had been excavated in the area indicating possible pre-denning behavior. Her son, a 3 year-old, was located just southwest of Hot Springs. Several observations by people passing through the area indicate he is with another wolf, possibly a female.

One of the Ninemile wolves was located on March 19 near the Paradise and Perma area. The male had not been recently located and was making frequent forays out of the Ninemile Valley. A good location was not obtained due to bad weather.

The Whitefish male was recently located near Kintla Lake in Glacier National Park in the company of several other wolves. It is very likely that the Whitefish pack is related to the North or South Camas pack.

 

Yellowstone National Park

On March 19, #13M’s radio collar was on mortality mode. A visual of the male was obtained from the air. All indications are that the male from the Soda Butte pack died from natural causes. Due to extreme avalanche danger the carcass and radio collar will not be retrieved until a later date.

On March 18, 8 Sawtooth pack pups were released from the Nez Perce pen and are remaining in close proximity. There is abundant food in the area in the form of winter killed elk and bison. The remaining 5 wolves in the enclosure will be released sometime in June. There are now 42 free ranging wolves in the park, 3 unaccounted for and 5 still in the pen.

 

Idaho

Lolo National Forest, Montana

Wolf B15F was again in Montana near Fish Creek. This is between the Idaho border and Interstate 90.

 

Bitterroot National Forest, Idaho

Wolves B15F and B10F were near the head of Swet Creek and B11F remains in the enclosure at Running Creek.

 

Nez Perce National Forest

Wolf B14 M was not located.

 

Beaverhead National Forest, Montana

During the week of March 17 wolf B07M, mate to B11F, was located on 2 occasions in the Big Hole Valley. Flights were taken on March 24 and 25 but B07 could not be found.

 

Payette National Forest

Wolves B09M and B16F were in the Chamberlain Basin area. Wolves B24M, B31M and his associate were not found.

 

Boise National Forest

Wolf B19M rejoined wolves B28M and B30F in the Deadwood River drainage. This is the first location of B19M since February 28. Wolf B33M was located near Round Valley.

 

Salmon-Challis National Forest

The Landmark pack was near Fall Creek. Wolves B23F and B27M were near Beaver Creek close to Idaho Highway 21

Wolf B35F and B18M were found together for the first time near Twin Peaks. B18M was last located near Round Mountain. This is the most recent pairing of wolves in Idaho.

A large black wolf and B22F were at the mouth of Sheep Creek at the confluence with the Rapid River. It is believed that the black wolf may be B34M whose radio collar has failed.

Wolves B25F and B32M were in the Panther Creek drainage. Wolves B29M and B37F were also located in the Panther Creek drainage but in a separate area from B25 and B32.

 

Sawtooth National Forest

A gray wolf, possibly B12M, along with wolf B36F were near Horton Peak Lookout. B12M’s radio was failing and may have quit.

 

Control

Nothing new to report.

 

Research

Yellowstone recovery biologists are still conducting telemetry flights as part of their study on wolf/elk relationship.

 

I & E

Niemeyer gave a presentation about wolf recovery and management to approximately 20 people at Northern Montana College in Havre on March 25..

Contact: Joe Fontaine, Montana Wolf Recovery Project Leader, (406) 449-5225