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 Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 3/30/2007

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 3/23/07 to 3/30/07

NEW WEB ADDRESS- The 2007 annual interagency wolf report [covering all 2006] 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.

Monitoring

Curt Mack [NTP] conducted a flight on the 30th to complete the Clearwater and Panhandle region monitoring in Idaho.

IDFG hired 4 new employees to work on the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness wolf monitoring project this summer. Welcome Marci Johnson, Kari Holder, Jonathan Ball, and Josh Vale. The wolf program also hired Nate Borg as a technician for the summer.

A local resident reported a possible dead wolf near Thayne, WY. USFWS investigated and determined the dead animal was a dog.

Winter wolf collaring efforts were completed in Wyoming: 25 wolves were captured and radio collar (18 wolves captured using helicopters and 7 wolves trapped). Collaring efforts will be suspended during denning season in early April. Trapping and collaring will resume in late April/early May and continue throughout the summer.

Control

On the 30th, Mack (NPT) visited with a livestock operator in New Meadows, ID about an on-going concern over the continued presence of wolves near this landowner's calving pasture; no losses to date.

On the 30th, Michael Lucid and Marshall Haynes (IDFG CO) set up a borrowed ID WS RAG box near Atlanta, ID at a residence (resort) where wolves (Big Buck pack) have been hanging around lately. There are 2 horses there.

On the 27th, ID WS confirmed that wolves killed a calf on private land near Picabo, ID. This is the same property where a rancher shot a killed a wolf that was chasing cattle last week. Control efforts are underway to remove the offending animal(s).

Research

The annual 30-day intensive Yellowstone Park late winter wolf predation ended on the 30th.

Holyan [NPT] scouted the last known whereabouts of the Orphan pack in preparation for potential capture efforts to place GPS radiocollars that will be part of the collaborative effort to research alternative wolf monitoring methods being spearheaded by Univ. of Montana's Coop Wildlife Research Unit (Dave Ausband research assistant).

The FWS and its cooperator’s winter wolf predation study in the Jackson, WY area ended on March 31. They located a total of 62 carcasses of ungulates killed by wolves. Prey species included 92% elk (n=57) and 8% moose (n=5). Prey composition of elk killed by wolves included: cows = 35%; bulls = 18%; and calves = 47%. Prey composition of moose killed by wolves included: cows = 80% and calves = 20%.

Information and Education and Law Enforcement

JOB- With the recent delisting of wolves in the Midwest, the state of Minnesota is gearing up to manage its wolves. They are advertising for a Minnesota DNR wolf biologist. It will be a challenging position and they hope to attract a strong field of applicants for this key state wolf management position. Anyone interested should look at for further information at https://statejobs.doer.state.mn.us/ResumeBuilder .

A notice was published in the Federal Register on the 26th, that the deadline to comment on the February 8, 2007 FWS NRM DPS wolf delisting proposal was extended until May 9, 2007, and that another open house [3-5PM] and hearing [6-8PM] will be held in Cody, WY April 19th.

MEETING NOTICE- The 19th Annual North American Wolf Conference will be held April 24-26, 2007, at the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff, AZ. Friday a field trip will go to the Grand Canyon. For more information e-mail or call Laura Jones, Western Species Coordinator, Defenders of Wildlife at ljones@defenders.org or (541) 552-9653. Please visit http://www.defenders.org/wolf/conference/ for registration details.

Michael Lucid [IDFG] spoke to 20 members of the Caldwell, ID Rotary Club on the 28th.

On the 28th and 29th, Rick Williamson [ID WS] and Carter Niemeyer [FWS retired & IDFG seasonal] trained a group of nearly 100 USFWS and Washington state employees in wolf management in Spokane, WA. They discussed wolf depredation identification and control (both lethal and non lethal) methods and techniques.

On the 29th, Jimenez [WY FWS] was interviewed by a film producer who is making a film about wolves and grizzly bears for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

Bangs [FWS] worked on a proposed modification to the 2005 experimental population 10j rule that would make it easier for states and tribes with approved wolf management plans [and at least 20 breeding pairs and 200 wolves] to remove wolves that were impacting wild ungulate populations. The modification would also allow anyone to kill any wolf that was attacking their riding or pack animals or dogs. Once the proposal is completed it will be published in the Federal Register and public comment and review will be solicited. After public comment is analyzed, it may be finalized.

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


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