Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 7/16/99

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 7/9-7/16, 1999

Monitoring

Packs in the Yellowstone, central Idaho, and NW Montana areas are in their normal home ranges and continue to be localized near their dens or nearby rendezvous sites.

Observations at the Diamond G Ranch indicted 2 gray and 2 black wolves (and possibly another limping black wolf) continue to be occasionally observed. This week the ranch manager reported seeing a black wolf with 2 "coyotes" one was quite dark. It could be that these were wolf pups that at this age look quite similar to coyotes except few coyotes are dark. Monitoring efforts are continuing but at this time the wolves have not focused their activities that would allow for successful trapping.

Boyd-Heger and Meier ended trapping efforts for the Murphy Lake pack on the 15th. One adult and one pup were captured. Trapping for the Graves Creek pack that recently moved nearer to the North Fork Road area will begin on the 16th.

Control

On the 12th, WS removed the relocated female wolf from Pleasant Valley and 2 males wolves she was traveling with along the East Front, west of Augusta, MT. The trio killed abut 15 sheep last week and the Service authorized their lethal removal because of repeated livestock depredations.

This week WS shot wolf B-55 that attacked livestock several times and appeared to be following the sheep herd that was moved away from the area after the first depredations occurred.

A female dog and her 5 3-month-old pups had a conflict with wolves on the Diamond G Ranch earlier in the week. Three of the pups were killed. WS confirmed that they had been attacked by a wolf. Attempts to locate and radio-collar a pack member are continuing. This is the second dog depredation this year besides a colt being killed. Control of any captured wolves beyond one to be radio-collared and released so the pack can be monitored would involve removal.

Research (JOB!!!)

Graduate student Oakleaf continues to monitor radio collared wolves and cattle west of Salmon, Idaho. The University of Idaho will hire a seasonal employee immediately to help with that program. The employee gets about $9/hour and fee housing. It is a great opportunity to learn radiotelemetry techniques with both cattle and wolves, do field investigations, and be involved with an important 2 year program. ASAP contact Curt Mack (208) 843-7335 or Dr. Dennis Murray Univ. of Idaho Wildlife Dept. (208)885-6434.

Information and education and law enforcement

Oral arguments before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, CO is scheduled for July 29 at 1:00PM.

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 besides the regular distribution.

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