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 Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 1/05/2007

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 1/05/07 to 1/12/07

NEW WEB ADDRESS- The 2006 annual interagency wolf report [covering all 2005] can be viewed at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov/annualreports.htm . It has maps of wolf pack locations and home ranges, tables of wolf numbers and depredations, discussions of litigation and funding issues, summaries of scientific studies, an extensive bibliography, and additional informational. The interagency 2006 annual wolf report should be completed by March 1, 2007. It will follow the same format as last year which was the state reports by Montana and Idaho, the FWS/NPS report for Wyoming and a summary of other multi-state issues by the FWS, concluding with tables and maps by both state and recovery area.

Monitoring

On the 5th, Yellowstone Park caught 2 more wolves, 2 pups a male and a female from the Gibbon pack near Madison Junction. So far in this winter’s capture season the Park has captured 11 wolves in 4 packs.

On the 5th, John Vore (MFWP Bitterroot area biologist) and Doug Johnson (MFWP warden) responded to a call at night up the east fork of the Bitterroot of a wolf caught in a leg hold trap. The wolf (likely a pup from the East Fork Bitterroot pack which already has radioed members) was safely released from the trap.

Derek Schott (MFWP warden) reported picking up a black wolf killed on the road up Lolo Creek, west of Missoula, MT on Jan. 10th. The carcass will be transported to the Bozeman MFWP wildlife lab for necropsy but indications are it was hit by a vehicle. The Big Hole pack, located around Lolo Pass, is the closest pack to this location.

Lucid, Husseman and Frame [IDFG] continue to fly to get final counts of wolves and finalized data analysis for the annual report. Jason Husseman picked up a road kill wolf that was so old its teeth were worn down to the gum. The radio collar and ear tag were both unidentifiable, so the collar was sent back to Telonics to get the frequency. This could have been one of the original wolves reintroduced into Idaho.

On the 8th, Jimenez [FWS] responded to a call from a coyote trapper who had incidentally captured an uncollared female pup from the Washakie pack near Dubois, WY. She was collared and released on site. On the 10th, the same trapper called Mike again and this time he had captured an adult black breeding male [blue ear tags #136- meaning it is Steel Mt. wolf B187 born in ID in 2003 near Boise, ID. It was darted as pup but collar was chewed off in 2004]. The trapper was using a fairly light #3 coyote trap with trap tension device & a short lead/in-line spring on a ground anchor. Both wolves appeared to be in good shape. We greatly appreciate this trapper’s help and the prompt calls. Tracking flights will soon confirm these two wolves’ pack affiliation.

Control

Liz Bradley [MFWP] got a call from a landowner in the Cedar Creek drainage in Superior, MT on the 3rd who reported a dog missing after wolves had come through their place the previous night. The dog (a Bluetick coon hound) was wearing a perimeter shock collar and would have been shocked continuously if it traveled outside of the perimeter of the house, so they felt fairly certain the dog had been killed. They also turned out to be the owners of the dog that was found injured in Johnson Creek the week before. They also have 2 horses and 2 goats in a small pasture next to the house and were concerned about their safety. Liz met with them on the afternoon of the 3rd and we put fladry around the pasture. They contacted Defenders of Wildlife to see about the possibility of getting compensation for the vet bills for their Aussie Shepherd, since it was a herding dog. I also met with the landowner up Johnson Creek who found the injured dog - wolves have continued to frequent her property and she has 2 black labs she's concerned about so we put some fladry around her fenced dog yard as well.

On the 9th, ID WS confirmed that a group of wolves attacked and killed a 600 lb. yearling steer near the North Fork of Little Squaw Creek in High Valley, just west of Smith’s Ferry ID. The depredation took place on private land. No signals of any radio collared wolves could be found in the area. After consultation with IDFG, WS began efforts to lethally remove two wolves. If the opportunity presents itself, WS will radio collar and release a wolf to facilitate monitoring of wolf activity in the area.

Research


Nothing new to report.

Information and Education and Law Enforcement

On the 9th, Bangs & Jimenez [FWS], Nadeau [IDFG], Sime [MFWP], Moody, Bruscino, Cleveland, Emmerich, & Lance [WYGF], and Mitchell [UM] had a conference call to discuss wolf monitoring.

On the 5th, Sime [MFWP] gave an update on the state program and wolf management at the Montana Outfitters and Guide's Association annual convention in Bozeman. About 70 people attended. On the 10th, Sime gave a presentation at the Helena Rotary meeting. About 65 people attended.

On the 8th, Trapp [MFWP] gave presentations on wolf ecology and management to Red Lodge High School Environmental Studies classes.

Michael Lucid [IDFG] gave a presentation to about 25 retired BLM personnel on Wednesday the 10th in Boise, ID.

Steve Nadeau [IDFG] gave a wolf management presentation to the Fish and Game Commission on Thursday Jan. 11, and reviewed the process and progress of the wolf species and hunting management plan they are developing. Steve also gave a presentation to the Les Bois Jr. High School science class on Wed. the 10th on wolf management in Idaho.

The Service's weekly wolf report can be viewed at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov/ . This report is government public property and can be used for any purpose. Please distribute as you see fit.

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


Contact Us:  WesternGrayWolf@fws.gov

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