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 Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 10/26/2007

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 10/19/07 to10/26/07

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

Kris Boyd and Samantha Dwinnell (MFWP) completed their summer field efforts on the 19th. Both, as well as other staff, did a super great and dedicated job and were integral to a very successful field season. Thank You!

Laudon [MFWP] conducted a routine monitoring flight on 10/24. Wolf 326, who has been missing from the Fishtrap pack for 2 years, was located within the Mineral Mountain pack.

On the 16th, Laudon (MFWP) and Chris Myra (US Border Patrol) retrieved the carcass of a radio collared wolf from the Kintla Pack in Canada.

On the 21st, Jason Husseman accompanied IDFG law enforcement to help look for a reported dead wolf south of Salmon, but no carcass was found. Further searching will be conducted to attempt to find the carcass. Jason conducted a monitoring flight on 10/25, and got a count of 14 wolves in the Aparejo pack.

Mack [NPT] conducted a scheduled monitoring flight on the 24th; all wolves were located within their usual home ranges, no visuals.

Holyan [NPT] has begun coordination with ID WS to get a preliminary handle on depredation stats for ID and is digging in on the annual report process.

Control

While moving cattle off allotment in the Warmsprings, MT area of the Gravelly's on the 22nd, riders found a consumed carcass of an adult cow and jumped 5 wolves off of the carcass. The rider thought they was one adult and 4 pups. WS investigated and called it a probable wolf kill. The carcass was freshly dead and totally consumed and the area was littered with wolf sign. This was in the same area that we had 2 confirmed kills earlier this summer and now have a collared wolf in the same area. MFWP decided to try and remove two wolves from this area but because of hunting season, MT WS will probably not conduct any control work until after the general big game season, the 45-day control window runs until December 4.

MT WS investigated and confirmed an injured calf in the South Fork of Willow Creek (Willow Creek pack territory) on Oct. 24th. The injury had occurred before that date when cattle were still on open range and was not discovered until round-up. The calf will likely live. Due to the fact that cattle are no longer present in the area where the attack occurred, no control actions will be taken. There are 8 wolves in the Willow Creek pack, 4 adults and 4 pups.

Bart Smith (MT WS) confirmed two calves killed by wolves from the Hog Heaven pack in NW MT on the 23rd. MFWP coordinated with WS to remove one wolf which was accomplished on that same day.

On the 20th, ID WS investigated a report that wolves had killed a 550-600 lb. calf in a private pasture east of Darlington, ID. Most of the carcass had been consumed, but there was enough evidence for WS to conclude that wolves were probably responsible. There have been several probable depredations on this property this year and it is still undetermined how many wolves may be involved. When the opportunity presents itself, WS will attempt to collar a wolf at this location.

On the 25th, ID WS investigated a report that wolves from the Galena Pack had killed a ewe in Smiley Creek on private land near Stanley, ID. While there was not enough evidence to confirm the depredation, WS determined it was "probable".

On the 23rd, WY WS removed a very old mangy wolf that had been hanging around a housing development west of Cody, WY. The collared wolf originally came from the South Fork Pack.

On 28th, WY WS captured and radio collared a yearling female wolf from the Absaroka Pack, west of Cody, WY. Two other wolves remain in the pack and will be removed due to repeated livestock depredations.

Research

Nothing new to report.

Information and Education and Law Enforcement

The NPT has hired Katrina Chandler on a 30-day basis to organize the research library and input data into a searchable database. Welcome aboard!

On the 23rd, Carter Niemeyer [IDFG] attended a meeting with Defenders of Wildlife, their livestock advisory board consisting of livestock producers from Idaho, Montana and Oregon, and representatives of the SNRA/Forest Service hosted by Mike Stevens of Lava Lakes Land and Livestock in Hailey, Idaho. The group took a field trip to the Phantom Hill area north of Ketchum to review and discuss the wolf depredation issues affecting local sheep producers in the area, in particular the Phantom Hill wolf pack.

On the 20th, Dave Spicer (IDFG) gave a presentation on the status of wolves in the Panhandle and the Dept plan development process to 90 people attending the 11th Annual Wild Idaho North conference in Sandpoint, ID.

On the 27th, Carter Niemeyer (USFWS-retired) presented a program on his experiences in wolf management in the Northern Rockies, Kyrgyzstan and France for Wolf Haven International in celebration of Wolf Awareness Week. The Russian National Orchestra's Music Quintet performed Prokofiev's “Peter and the Wolf” as the main event of the evening. Approximately 70 people attended the meeting in Olympia, WA.

On the 23rd, Bangs talked to 30 students at a meeting of the Univ. Montana student chapter of The Wildlife Society.

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


Contact Us:  WesternGrayWolf@fws.gov

Service Links:

Western Gray Wolf Home Page Mountain-Prairie Region Home Page

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