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 Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From:     Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 8/03/2007

Subject:  Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 7/27/07 to 8/03/07

 

NEW WEB ADDRESS- The 2007 annual interagency wolf report [covering all 2006] can be viewed at 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 1994 EIS on wolf reintroduction is now posted there too. 

Monitoring

Asher [MFWP] retrieved the Eagle creek female SW117 on the 27th.  She was actually inside the Yellowstone Park north boundary.  She had been dead for some time and the carcass had been moved around by both bear and coyotes.  The investigation into the cause of her death is continuing.

Ross [MFWP] pulled traps in Antelope Basin, MT on the 29th.  The gray breeding female was caught ad collared on the 28th.  On the 30th, the alpha? black male was collared.  MFWP estimates the black and gray pair had ~ 4 black pups and will be called the Horn Mountain Pack.

On the 30th, MFWP Laudon and volunteers Carly Levell and Natasha Maier caught an adult female in the Fishtrap pack in NWMT.

On the 2nd, MFWP Kris Boyd and volunteer Samantha Dwinnell caught an adult female in the Thompson Peak pack in NWMT.

On the 3rd, MFWP did a routine monitoring flight in NWMT. Some pup counts were obtained.

During a routine monitoring flight on the 28th, Ninemile, MT wolf NW211M's collar was heard on mortality.  This incident is under USFWS LE investigation.

Ty Smucker [MFWP] howled up the Elevation Mtn pack in the Garnet Mtns on the 29th and saw 2 black adults, 5 black pups, and 1 gray pup.  Efforts are ongoing to radio-collar an adult.

On the 28th, Bradley [MFWP] collared a yearling female in the Welcome Creek pack E. of Florence, MT.

On the 31st, ID WS performed a telemetry flight and found the O'Hara Point pack, the Carey Dome pack and the Tahoe Group.  GPS coordinates were passed on to IDFG and NPT.

Mid-summer pack counts in Wyoming include: 15 breeding packs with pups, 7 packs with unknown breeding status, and 2 suspected packs outside the Parks and Yellowstone reports 10 packs/breeding pairs, the same number as last year.  It is likely the wolf population estimate in Wyoming in 2007 will be similar too or slightly lower than it was in 2006 [311 wolves in 25 breeding pairs].

Control

On July 30th, a calf was confirmed killed by wolves in the Middle Fork of Rock Creek, southwest of Philipsburg, MT.  One to 2 wolves in the Sapphire pack were believed responsible but none of the 3 collared wolves in this pack were found near the kill site.  MFWP authorized WS to remove up to 2 wolves in the vicinity of the calf carcass.  MT WS shot 1 adult female later that night that came back to the carcass.  One other wolf was heard howling in the area.  Traps were put out to try to catch the 2nd wolf.  A 45-day shoot-on-site permit was issued to the landowners for 1 wolf in the area where the depredation occurred.

On August 3rd, MT WS called in and shot one black wolf from the Hewolf Mountain pack.  Four wolves have been removed from this pack since Memorial Day after chronic depredations on livestock.  A minimum of 5 pups were heard. Control is complete at this time.

On the 27th, ID WS confirmed that wolves killed 1 ewe in Little French Creek on Payette National Forest land NE of McCall.  The radio signals of B-331 and B-309 were detected.  Traps were set and, on 8/2, WS captured and radio collared a gray female pup (B-343), while B-309 (most likely the pup's mother) barked and howled nearby.  Efforts are still underway to remove an uncollared wolf.

On the 29th, ID WS captured two wolves on Nez Perce National Forest land related to the depredation on cattle last week.  One, an adult black female (B-342), was fitted with a radio collar and released and one, an adult gray female, was lethally removed.  These wolves probably belong to the O'Hara Point pack.  Neither wolf had given birth this year.  Traps have been pulled as this control action is complete.

On August 1st, ID WS confirmed that wolves from the Applejack pack killed a yearling ewe on Boise National Forest land near the Star Ranch, SW of Idaho City.  This is the second confirmed depredation in this area in less than 2 weeks.  Efforts are underway to remove an uncollared wolf.

On August 3rd, ID WS lethally removed 2 members (1 gray male and 1 gray female) of the Morris Flat pack on private land East of Anderson Ranch Reservoir.  Control efforts are still underway to resolve the repeated livestock depredations.

On the 27th, WY WS confirmed a calf killed by wolves west of Meeteetse, WY. Three wolves from the Greybull Pack will be removed.

On the 27th, WY WS confirmed a 3rd calf killed by the Gooseberry Pack, west of Meeteetse, WY. Control is ongoing.

On the 29th, WY WS reported that a livestock producer west of Cody, WY observed 2 wolves attacking and severely injuring an adult cow. The cow survived the wolf attack, but was later killed by a grizzly bear.

On the 28th, WY WS confirmed 1 calf and a young bull killed by wolves in the East Fork Pack near Dubois, WY. On the 31st, WY WS confirmed a 3rd calf killed by wolves. On August 4th, WY WS completed control actions by removing 4 wolves.

On the 28th, WY WS confirmed 4 calves killed by wolves in the Green River area, near Pinedale, WY. On the 31st, USFWS confirmed 2 more calves killed by wolves in the Green River Pack. On August 1, WS and USFWS removed 2 wolves and control is ongoing to remove the entire pack.

On August 3rd, WY WS confirmed that a calf was attacked and injured by wolves from the Carter Mountain Pack. The Carter Mountain Pack has a chronic depredation history and 2 wolves will be removed in an attempt to prevent additional depredations.

Research

The UM/ID/NPT wolf research field crew has finished surveying 3 of the 4 study areas and is currently in Salmon, Idaho. They continue to find wolves and collect scat and hair samples for DNA analyses.

Data from the UM/ID/NPT hunter survey has been entered and 67% of people who received mailings responded. 46% reported seeing wolves or wolf sign. Further analyses are underway. 

The remote sensing "howlbox" is together and functioning in practice trials. Field testing will be underway shortly.

The international cooperative paper “Effect of breeder loss in wolves” Scott Brainerd et al. was accepted for publication in the Journal of Wildlife Management and is in press.

Information and Education and Law Enforcement

The public comment periods for both the proposed delisting of the wolf population in the NRM DPS, including NW WY and the modification of the 10j special rule for states and tribes with approved wolf management plans, will close on August 6th. 

The Service's weekly wolf report can be viewed at 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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