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 Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 2/23/2007

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 2/16/07 to 2/23/07

NEW WEB ADDRESS- The 2006 annual interagency wolf report [covering all 2005] can be viewed at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov/annualreports.html. 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. Everyone is plugging away on the interagency 2007 annual wolf report [covering all of 2006] and it should be completed in early March.

Monitoring

On February 2 while checking radio signals from the ground, MFWP heard a mortality signal from the newly collared wolf SW154M in the Madison Valley. During a routine radio flight on February 10, the collar location was pin pointed. On February 16 the collar and carcass was retrieved and taken to the FWP lab in Bozeman for necropsy. When WS collared this animal on January 16, it appeared that it had been wounded in a fight with other wolves.

On the 20th, WY WS/FWS trapped and radio-collared a 2-year old female wolf from the Beartooth Pack. The pack consists of 7 wolves, but recently has not had a radio collared member. The USFWS is collaborating with WYG&F and the University of Wyoming on an elk study in the Cody area. The Absaroka, Sunlight, and Beartooth Packs are included in our study area. Currently, we have wolves collared with GPS collars in the Absaroka and Sunlight Packs to locate wolves for research objectives. The newly collared Beartooth wolf will enable us to complete our winter collaring effort in the Cody area and place research GPS collars in the Beartooth Pack.

Control

On the 18th, ID WS investigated a reported wolf depredation on a calf on private land near St. Maries, ID. When WS arrived to investigate, no carcass was present. A thorough search for a carcass revealed nothing. It is possible that a calf was killed by a wolf at this location, but there was no evidence to confirm it or even call it "probable".

On the 20th, ID WS investigated a reported wolf depredation on a calf on private land near Clayton, ID. The 200 lb. calf had definitely been fed upon by wolves (most likely the Buffalo Ridge Pack), but there was not enough evidence to confirm that wolves killed it. The WS investigator concluded that it was a "probable" wolf kill.

On the 23rd, ID WS investigated a reported wolf depredation on a calf on private land near Challis, ID. There was not enough remains of the newborn calf to conclude that wolves (most likely from the Morgan Creek Pack) killed the calf, but the WS investigator concluded that it was "probable".

On the 23rd, Jimenez [WY FWS] examined and confirmed that a 8-month old male Catahula hound was killed by wolves on one of the Gros Ventre elk winter feedgrounds near Jackson, WY. The feeders stay at the feedground and had 5 pet hounds sleeping outside the cabin. The dog was killed about 200yds from the cabin. The other dogs are fine. The feeders had been previously advised that a wolf pack was visiting that feedground and their dogs might be at risk. No control is planned.

Research

Training for the winter (March 1-30) predation for Yellowstone Park volunteers begins Feb. 23.

Information and Education and Law Enforcement
WOLF DELISTING HEARINGS- Open houses [3-5PM] and hearings [6-8PM] are scheduled for- [Feb 27th] Cheyenne, WY; [28th] Salt Lake City, UT; [March 1st] Helena, MT and [March 6th] Boise, ID; [7th] Pendleton, OR; and [8th] Spokane, WA. See http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov for further information.

Laudon (MFWP) gave an update of the Montana wolf population and management at the Northfork Interlocal annual meeting on the 13th. The Northfork Interlocal is a forum to share information among state, federal, local agencies, and residents common to the Northfork Flathead River area.

On the 21st, Warden Magone (MFWP) retrieved a dead adult female wolf from the Libby area. The matter is under investigation.

Mack and Holyan [NPT] met with IDFG wolf staff (Nadeau, Husseman, Lucid, Frame, and Thomas) in Boise on 2/22 pertaining to the "Wolf Conservation and Management in Idaho: Progress Report 2006." After the meeting it is hoped that the report can be finalized by early March.

Steve Nadeau [IDFG] gave a wolf management presentation to 10 students in a Boise State University senior wildlife management class on Friday the 23rd.

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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