Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 8/20/99

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Weeks of 8/14-8/20, 1999

Monitoring

Packs in the Yellowstone, central Idaho, and NW Montana areas are in their normal home ranges and continue to be localized but are starting to move more with their pups.

An educational tour led by staff of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game reported seeing wolf pups in the Landmark pack. The Nez Perce Tribe is continuing to try to confirm pup production in that pack and the Kelly Creek, Selway and Snow Peak packs.

Biologist Meier caught a pup and a 92-pound adult male in the Little Wolf pack. Trapping is continuing for wolves in Graves Creek and Murphy Lake packs. There have been reports of wolves near Therault Lakes and biologists will be checking to see if trapping is possible.

Soda Butte was located along the south boundary of Yellowstone National Park.

Control

A lethal take permit was issued to a Forest Service Sheep permittee who incurred wolf-damage to over 25 lambs and 1 ewe north of McCall, ID. Efforts by Wildlife Services to trap the single unmarked wolf were unsuccessful. The permit will allow a wolf that was seen attacking livestock to be shot and killed.

A wolf from the Jureano pack was trapped and killed after cattle were killed west of Salmon, ID. The Stanley Basin pack killed a calf near Stanley, ID and lethal take of the wolf(ves) believed responsible is being conducted.

A possible cattle depredation by the Gros Ventre pack was reported on 8/19. It is being investigated.

A band of sheep on a grazing allotment just north of the YNP boundary has been moved to a private grazing area due to grizzly bear depredations, 16 sheep. The herder did see 10 wolves near the sheep, probably members of the Rose Creek pack, but there were no confirmed losses due to wolves. It was reported that 9 additional sheep were killed and appeared to have been bitten in the neck. No investigation was requested by the producer since they were moving the sheep due to the grizzly bear.

Research

Various biologists from the Service, National Park Service, Wildlife Services, University of Montana, Turner Endangered Species Fund, National Wildlife Federation and Defenders of Wildlife met in Bozeman on the 20th to discuss ways to conduct and fund research aimed at reducing or solving livestock/wolf conflict.

Information and education and law enforcement

The Wyoming District Judge ordered Bangs to meet with Diamond G Ranch manager Jon Robinette to discuss the ranch's concerns and potential solutions to the controversy. They and Wyoming project leader Jimenez met in West Yellowstone on the 19th.

Bangs and Grizzly Bear Coordinator Servheen attended a luncheon in Boise, ID hosted by ID Congressman Mike Simpson. About 20 legislators and representatives from various associations attended to discuss their concerns about wolves and grizzly bears. The meeting was helpful and informative.

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