Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 7/23/99

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 717-7/23, 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.

Boyd-Heger ended trapping efforts for the Graves Creek pack after the pack moved to a remote location. None were captured. Trapping will begin for this pack if they are in an accessible area or another NW Montana pack next week.

On the 19th the male pup relocated to Spotted Bear was found in the Garnet Mountains south of Helmville. No visual could be obtained to determine if he were with other wolves. Faint signals were heard for the other 2 relocated males and may be coming from near Gibson Reservoir. However, an exact location couldn't be obtained due to strong winds in the area. When the weather moderates another attempt will be made to locate them.

Numerous reports were sent in of a black canine with a red or orange collar between Thompson Falls and Noxon. A flight was taken over the area to search for missing wolves but none could be found. The large canine was seen on a somewhat frequent basis always at a distance but in a very localized area. On the 22nd a Forest Service crew was within 50ft of the canine and described the collar as orange with no radio package underneath. This must be a wolf/dog hybrid that escaped or was turned loose. The information was passed on to MDFWP and several local ranchers that wanted to know the status of the animal.

 

Control

Several calves were killed near (4-5 miles) from the Gros Ventre pack's den near Jackson, WY. Radio locations did not indicate the radioed female was in that area but the 2 uncollared pack members or other unmarked wolves certainly could be traveling there. WS investigated and sign indicted wolf and bears were in the area and there were confirmed bear kills. Trapping for a problem bear on a neighboring allotment is ongoing and this situation is being closely watched.

WS investigated a dead calf in Grand Teton National Park. It had been killed by a grizzly bear. A 60-day notice to litigate was filed with Grand Teton National Park by several groups over grazing cattle near an active wolf den in the Park.

On the 23d, Jimenez examined the couple-day-old remains of a calf that was suspected to have been killed by a wolf on the Diamond G Ranch. The initial state investigator believed the calf was killed but not by a grizzly bear, and requested the rancher to contact Wildlife Services. Unfortunately the calf was taken out of the field and into a barn. Furthermore, the depredation site was covered by water during subsequent irrigation. Investigation of the carcass was inconclusive. The ranch manager was reminded of the importance of leaving evidence in the field not only to assist in determining the cause of livestock death but also to aid in capture or control efforts. Attempts are being made to radio-collar a wolf in the area and because of the pattern of depredations in this area, wolves may also be killed.

 

Research (JOB!!!)

Graduate student Oakleaf continues to monitor radio 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. 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

Heberger and Niemeyer met with citizens in John Day, OR to discuss wolf management on the 23rd. The informational meeting was arranged by a local hunting group.

Oral arguments before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, CO is scheduled for July 29 at 1:00PM. Bangs will be in Denver 27-29th for that Appeal.

This week Brian Cox gave presentations to about 30 people at the National Bighorn Sheep Center in Dubois, WY and to about 30 people at the 7D Ranch. Jimenez gave a presentation to about 20 people the Jackson Hole Alliance. Bangs briefly met with the Forest Service Regional Forester in Missoula on the 19th to discuss wolf issues. He later met with Univ. Montana Dr. Pletscher to discuss a graduate student to work on measures to prevent/reduce wolf conflicts with livestock.

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