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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 5/14/07 to 5/18/07

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

Seasonal technician Ty Smucker pulled traps on Lolo Pass on 5/15/07 and is now trapping in the Garnet Mountains for the uncollared Elevated Mountain Pack.

MTFWP welcomes volunteer Sarah Bassing who started work on 5/14/07. Sarah will be volunteering on the wolf program through mid-August. Kris Boyd is the new hire for the MTFWP wolf technician position in nw Montana. Congratulations and welcome Kris.

Laudon and Boyd captured and collared the alpha female, and a male wolf from the Squeezer Pack located in the Swan Valley on 5/7 and 5/8/07.

On 5/16/07, Laudon, Boyd, and Dan Trochta (USFGWS, WA) captured and collared a yearling female of the Kintla Pack on 5/16/07.

Jim Holyaan conducted monitoring/den survey flights out of McCall on 5/15 and 5/16/07. Based on these flights, it appears that Stolle Meadows, Carey Dome, and Lick Ck. Packs are likely denning.

Holyan has a trapline running on private property where 2 dogs (1 investigated by WS) have been reported killed in the past few days; a neighbor’s dog is missing as well. No wolf sign has been observed, aside from a visual of 3 wolves by the pet owners in the yard on the night of 5/16/07. This is the former Hazard Lake Pack’s territory. There have been no radio collared wolves in this area since lethal control eliminated most of the individuals in 2004.

Control

On 5/12/07, Bart Smith ( MT WS) trapped and collared a 100 lb adult gray male wolf from the Sapphire Pack on the Ross’ Fork of Rock Creek, sw of Philipsburg, MT. Trapping will continue through this week to try to  collar another wolf to due livestock concerns in the area.

On 5/11/07, MT WS confirmed a calf killed in Big Sheep Creek, sw of Dillon, MT. It is unknown whether a pack or an individual wolf was involved. WS has traps out to collar and release a wolf.

On 5/15/07, MT WS confirmed a calf killed by wolves in the Centennial Valley, east of Dillon, MT. Again, it is unknown what wolf (wolves) were involved. WS is trapping to collar and release a wolf.

On 5/15/07, recently collared wolf SW174M from the Superior Pack was reported struck by a vehicle on I-90, near Superior, MT. The collar was retrieved by a passing motorist but no carcass has been recovered at this time.

On 5/14/07, WY WS confirmed a steer killed by wolves on private property. Three wolves from the Goose Berry Pack will be removed.

On 5/14/07, ID WS removed 2 gray-colored wolves from the Copper Basin Pack near Mackay, ID. with a fixed-wing aircraft, in response to earlier confirmed depredations on livestock. IDGF has authorized WS to remove the entire pack and it’s believed there are only 2-3 wolves left in this pack; a radio collared black wolf, a gray-colored wolf, and possibly one other large unidentified wolf. Efforts to remove these members through trapping and aerial hunting will continue.

On 5/15/07, ID WS received a call from a rancher near Ellis, ID who reported he’d seen 2 wolves, a black and a light-colored wolf, in amongst his neighbor’s cows. This is the same area where wolf depredation had been confirmed on a calf on private land on 4/25/07, and where IDGF had already authorized the removal of 3 wolves. A WS fixed-wing aerial hunting crew conducted a flight in the area but didn’t see any wolves.

On 5/16/07, ID WS received a report from a rancher near Leadore that 6 lambs had been killed in a pasture near his house the previous day. The rancher indicated that he’d heard a wolf howl near his home early on the morning of the 16th, and he had hurried outside with his rifle and shot a wolf he’d found in with the rest of his sheep. A WS employee investigated and confirmed wolf depredation on the 6 lambs. The rancher also contacted IDGF, and a local Conservation Officer investigated the shooting. WS will continue to monitor this situation, because during the course of the investigation it was learned that 2 neighboring ranches have also recently lost livestock (1 cow, 4 calves, and 5 sheep) to suspected wolf predation. These ranchers were provided information on the 10(j) rule and cell phone numbers of local WS employees.

On 5/16/07, ID WS investigated a complaint of wolves killing 3 pet dogs a few miles east of Pinehurst, ID. The dog owners were also concerned about their safety because a black-colored wolf had been seen near their property multiple times during the past several weeks. WS confirmed wolf depredation and provided the dog owner with information on the 10(j) rule and how to protect their remaining dog. That same evening around sundown, WS received another phone call from the dog owner who had shot toward 3 wolves after they approached their home within 40 yards, showing no fear of people. None of the wolves were believed to have been hit. 

Research

Information/Education and Law Enforcement Curt Mack spoke to a conservation biology class at Albertson’s College in Bosie, ID. On 5/15/07. About 20  students were in attendance. On 5/18-20, Mack presented a wolf talk at “Wild Idaho”, the annual meeting of the Idaho Conservation league, held at Redfish Lake near Stanley, ID over the weekend of May 18-20.

On 5/15/07, Jimenez spoke at the Teton Science School to an Elder Hostle group. On 5/16/07, Jimenez spoke at the Murie Center to a group of Michigan students from Hope College.

On 5/16/07, Pehringer (WY WS) and Carter Niemeyer (USFWS retired) spoke at a western predator conference but on by WYG&F in Cody, WY.

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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