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 Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From:              Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT

Subject:          Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 5/7/07 to 5/11/07

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 information.

Monitoring

Mack conducted a monitoring flight in the Panhandle region and the northern portion of the Clearwater region on 5/11/07.

Holyan scouted for wolf sign in the former Orphan, Gold Creek, and Hazard Lake Packs’ territories where GPS collars are set to be placed as part of an alternative wolf monitoring technique research sponsored by the NPT. He found old sign in all 3 areas, but nothing warranting a capture operation.

Newly hired seasonal wildlife technicians hired for this summer’s Selway Wilderness wolf monitoring efforts started this week; they have completed drug training and will be sent out in the field in the next week or two after completing additional training. Jason Husseman spent several days in the Mackay area to determine whether the Copper Basin Pack has denned, which appears they have not. He also spent some time looking for wolf sign in the Moyer Basin and Juneano Mountain Packs’ territories in anticipation of deploying GPS collars in these packs, which will be used by researchers to evaluate potential monitoring techniques.

On 5/5/07, Pehringer (WY WS) trapped and radio collared 2 male wolves from the uncollared South Fork Pack, west of Cody, WY.

Thirteen denning packs have been confirmed in NW Wyoming. Efforts are continuing to investigate additional denning packs.

Control

On 5/7/07, ID WS confirmed that a wolf, or wolves, attacked and injured a calf on a private ranch near Kooskia, ID. Several “probable” wolf depredations have taken place in this area over the last 2 years, but this is the first “confirmed” incident. Traps were set and on 5/8/07, a wolf was captured, but managed to escape. On 5/10/07, a black, adult female wolf was captured, collared, and released.

On 5/8/07, ID WS captured a gray, sub-adult male wolf at the site where a depredation on cattle took place last week on private land near Smith’s Prairie. The wolf was euthanized and turned over to IDGF.

On 5/1/07, MT WS and CSKT confirmed a yearling steer was killed by wolves
within the home range of the Hog Haven pack. Attempts to capture and radio collar will begin this week.

On 5/6/07, CSKT confirmed a llama was killed by wolves from the Hewolf Mountain Pack. MT WS set traps on the carcass and caught a yearling male wolf on 5/9/07. There are now 2 collars in this pack. Control is complete at this time.

On 5/8/07, a landowner in the Ross Fork of Rock Creek (west of Philipsburg) reported 2 wolves harassing cattle on private property. WS was already trapping in the area for a wolf involved in a depredation earlier this month at a neighboring ranch. Additional traps were set near the recent depredation site to try to put another collar in the Sapphire Pack, who are believed involved in this latest incident.

As part of ongoing control in the Big Hole Valley, WS killed a black adult male wolf on private property west of Wisdom on 5/10/07. Control is ongoing to remove the remaining members of the Battlefield Pack.

On 5/10/07, MT WS confirmed that injuries to a calf in the West Boulder area were caused by a wolf. On the same day, Trapp (MTFWP) located a recently collared wolf (#SW173M) near the depredation site. The wolf was traveling alone at the time. Because this wolf was implicated in 2 depredations, MTFWP authorized WS to lethally remove this wolf.  On the 5/11/07, WS was unable to locate this wolf with a helicopter, but will try again next week.

On 5/11/07, MT WS investigated a dead lamb that a rancher had suspected to be killed by wolves near McLeod, MT. WS determined the lamb was killed by birds, perhaps ravens.

Research

Nothing to report this week.

Information/Education and Law Enforcement

The comment period for the Service’s proposal to delist wolves in the northern Rocky Mountain wolf population closed on May 9th. Several hundred thousand comments have been received. Those comments will be sorted and analyzed this summer. A final decision will be made this winter.

On 5/7/07, bangs gave a noon brown-bag presentation to a dozen Service employees at the Washington office in Arlington, VA. The presentation was taped and will be available on-line.

On 7/9/07, Jimenez spoke to a 6th grade class from Cheyenne. Approx. 40 kids and 15 adults were on a field trip to Yellowstone Park.

On 5/9/07, Mack spoke about wolf ecology/biology at the Washington State Citizen’s Wolf Advisory Group meeting in Ellensburg, WA. Rick Williamson and Carter Niemeyer also gave talks at the meeting.

The Service’s weekly 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 ext. 204 or Ed_Bangs@fws.gov


Contact Us:  WesternGrayWolf@fws.gov

Service Links:

Western Gray Wolf Home Page Mountain-Prairie Region Home Page

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