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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 8/20/07 to 8/24/07

NEW WEB ADDRESS - The 2007 annual interagency wolf report (covering all 2006) can be viewed at http://western graywolf.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

Idaho/NPT crew #1 obtained a pup count on the Kelly Ck. pack; observed a single gray pup (and subsequent howling bouts suggested that this probably was a complete count). The recently radiocollared Lochsa pack pup was monitored for a day or two and the collar has remained on and the pups have been roaming rather widely from the rendezvous site where they were first observed. A radiocollared wolf (B342), possibly a member of the O'Hara Point pack (though further monitoring will be required to verify this), was monitored; fortuitously a single pup was seen crossing a forest road, which eventually led to detection of a litter of 4 pups (based upon howling; only 2 were actually seen). This crew then investigated a traditional Selway pack rendezvous site and discovered that it was currently in use. A trapping effort led to the capture of 2 pups (1 was radiocollared). This brings the Selway pack back onto the airwaves for the first time (provided the collar remains on) since 2004 when B5 died. Six black pups were observed here.

Idaho/NPT crew #2 monitored B213 (formerly of the Five Lakes Butte pack) and investigated the traditional Five Lakes Butte pack rendezvous site. The latter was not occupied for the second consecutive year and the status of this pack is unknown (though sign of a single wolf was seen). B213 appears to be the breeding female of a new pack, Deception, which has produced a litter of 4 gray pups. Three of them were caught on 8/15 during a trapping effort (1 was large enough to be radiocollared). On 8/16 the apparent alpha male was captured and radiocollared. This crew then sought out the Fish Ck. pack for breeding pair status determination: a rendezvous site was located in the Kelly Ck. drainage where a minimum of 4 gray pups was seen, as well as 7 adult-sized wolves (including both radiocollared wolves B236 and B236).

Congratulations to Katrina Chandler, who captured her first 2 wolves as a volunteer member of the NPT wolf project.

Our sincerest thanks to biologist Tyler Hollow, whose very successful field season has concluded so that he may return to his "real" career. Good luck and we hope to have you back next year again.

Melinda Conners started work this week for IDFG and was able to locate the Hughes creek pack and get a pup count of 3-4. Jason Husseman will be setting traps to collar the pack. Jason also conducted telemetry flights and was able to confirm 3 pups in the Pass ck pack as they accompanied the adults on a hunt. He also located a Jureano wolf on a domestic calf kill and reported it to WS who were able to confirm it and remove the wolf. Michael Lucid and the wilderness crew have still not been able to catch up to and radio collar any wolves in the Selway Wilderness. Fires are still hampering their efforts. Carter Niemeyer has been attempting to capture the Scott Mt and Warm Springs packs.

On Sunday, August 19th the MFWP crew scouted the upper Trout Creek and Cedar Creek drainages near Superior to follow up on some wolf reports in the area. MFWP volunteer Natasha Maier howled up a couple of adults and at least 1 pup in upper Trout Creek. This new pack is likely a border pack shared with Idaho. Traps were not set due to weather but MFWP will try to make a
trapping effort later this summer or early fall.

On the 22nd MFWP seasonal Ty Smucker and volunteer Quinn Harrison were scouting for the Ninemile pack. They saw 3 adult wolves (including the adult black female wearing a non-functioning radio collar) and heard pups (at least 2) howling nearby. Trapping efforts are ongoing to try to put a
new radio-collar in the pack.

Wyoming USFWS field crew confirmed 8 pups (plus 4-6 adults) in the Gros Ventre Pack. Trapping and collaring efforts for the Gros Ventre Pack have been halted until forest fires subside and access in to the area is possible.

Control

Graeme McDougal (WS) caught and collared an adult female wolf this morning (8/23) close to the calf carcass that was confirmed killed by wolves (Vanna Boccadori and Craig Fager (FWP) assisted). This new group is being called the Fleecer Mtn pack. FWP will be monitoring the new collar in the coming week to try figure out more about this pack and look for options to reduce further problems. Thanks to WS for a quick response and a job well done.

On 8/18/07, WY W.S. investigated 18 dead sheep on a grazing allotment west of La Barge, WY. W.S. was able to confirm numerous sheep killed by wolves; however, some of the remaining 18 dead sheep were too badly decomposed to determine the cause of death. These remaining depredations were listed as probables. Control is ongoing to remove the wolf (or wolves).

On 8/21/07, WY W.S. confirmed a calf killed by wolves from the Gooseberry Pack west of Meeteetse, WY. Traps were placed in the area in an attempt to capture and removed 3 wolves. There has been an ongoing control effort to remove wolves in the Gooseberry Pack for the last several weeks when the pack killed livestock on another ranch.

On 8/22/07, WY W.S. confirmed that the Sunlight Pack killed 1 calf on a grazing allotment west of Cody, WY. W.S. also confirmed a calf killed on private land by the Greybull River Pack west of Meeteetse, WY. Control is ongoing.

Research

No research updates were reported this week.

Information/Education and Law Enforcement

Steve Nadeau met with the USFWS regional and area representatives on Wednesday in the Stanley Basin to review wolf management activity and policies.

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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