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 Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 11/30/2007

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Weeks of 11/16/07 to11/30/07

NEW WEB ADDRESS- The 2007 annual interagency wolf report [covering all 2006] can be viewed at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov/annualreports.htm . The 2008 report will be available by March 1, 2008.

Monitoring

Correction- The frequency for the collared Idaho wolf in Yellowstone NP thought to be B195 is actually coming from Idaho wolf B271. The two wolves had frequencies close to one another and B271 was mistaken for B195. Turns out B195 has a bob-tail and this one doesn’t so the mistake was eventually discovered by Niemeyer [former FWS and now IDFG]. B271 is currently with a dispersing female from Slough Creek Pack on the northern range of YNP- possibly the beginning of a new pack. B271's story is amazing. B271's father is highly likely R241 (who dispersed to ID from YNP; heli-darted 10/13/01 near Dome Mt.). His mother is likely B189 (origin unknown). B271 was trapped in rubber-jawed McBride #7 by IDFG near the Steel Mt. pack den site (Lost Man Ck.; Boise NF) on 5/3/06. He was estimated as ~ 1 yr. old at that time; so if born in 2005 he belonged to a litter of 4-7 pups. He was aerially located 10 times prior to disappearing from ID following the 12/19/06 flight. His ear tags are both 413. Wow- the son returns to his father’s homeland.

Michael Lucid, Jason Husseman, and Cody McKee [IDFG] continue to conduct telemetry flights to get optimal pack size counts from radio collared packs. They are flying every 2 weeks, weather permitting, until mid-January.

On Nov. 14, IDFG and the NPT met to review end of year pack data for Idaho. Preliminary numbers indicated that 60 of 82 verified packs are collared with 111 radio collars of which 7 are GPS collars. Final numbers will be included in the annual report due in March.

Control

On Nov. 23rd, a MFWP Game Warden out of Livingston, MT euthanized [shot] a mangy radio-collared wolf [394M from Chief Joe] with a broken leg that was living in a sheep dog shelter in the Six-mile area of the Paradise Valley.

MT WS investigated and confirmed 12 goats killed by wolves in the Roscoe area of SW MT on the 23rd. This is a new uncollared pair and because of freezing temperatures trapping to collar and release was not feasible. The goats have been shipped off the ranch and no immediate action will be taken unless weather provides a window to collar and release.

On the 19th, ID WS confirmed that wolves killed a calf on Boise National Forest land north of Sweet, ID. Since the calf was a straggler coming off the forest (it was supposed to be off by 10/31), no control action could be authorized.

On the 23rd, ID WS confirmed that wolves killed a calf on private land northeast of New Meadows, ID. Traps were set with the intention of capturing and removing two wolves. On 11/29, an adult, gray male wolf was captured and killed.

On the 30th, ID WS confirmed that wolves had attacked 4 lion hounds on Mica Ridge in the Payette National Forest southeast of Council, ID on the 28th. One of the hounds (all Plotts) was injured and returned to its owner, two others were found killed and consumed, the fourth could not be found.

Not a wild wolf issue but was confused with one in media so...On the 28th, the Owyhee County Sheriff in ID requested ID WS assistance with capturing a black privately-owned captive wolf that escaped from its enclosure late last month. The wolf has reportedly been sighted west of Murphy, ID several times since it escaped. On 11/22, the wolf was seen attacking some sheep. WS confirmed that one ewe had been killed by a wolf-like canid and two others had been injured. While traps have been set, WS is focusing on trying to locate the captive wolf. WS will work with the Sheriff and IDFG to resolve the problem. In a related story this week another captive wolf/hybird was repeatedly seen in a suburb east of Salt Lake City, UT.

Research

Nothing new to report.

Information and Education and Law Enforcement

The annual interagency wolf working group meeting was held in Missoula, MT the 27th and 28th. About 30 Federal, State, and Tribal agency wolf field managers from the NRM attended. Monitoring, control, research and outreach and LE were discussed as well as preparations for writing the interagency annual report for 2007.

On the 29th, Sime [MFWP] met with the Montana Woolgrowers Board in Billings, MT. She gave them an update on pending delisting and the Montana wolf program. About 15 people attended.

Twelve MT WS employees attended a 2-day Senior Level Aviation Managers Training in Billings, MT. Trainees included the State Director, 2 District Supervisors, 3 Pilots, 2 Assistant District Supervisors, Budget Analyst, and 3 Aerial Crewmembers. The training was conducted by the USDA's Aviation Training and Operations Center. The training included such topics as aerial operations and safety; roles, responsibilities, and expectations; communications; state emergency plan; risk management process; and safety implications of stress.

On Nov. 16 the IDFG commission released for public comment the Idaho Wolf Population Management Plan 2008-2012. Public comment will be received from Nov. 19-Dec. 31 by logging onto http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/apps/surveys/draftwolf/ , or sending comments to: Idaho Fish and Game, Wolf Plan Comments, P.O. Box 25, Boise ID 83707; by fax to 208-334-2148 or 208-334-2114, attention Wolf Plan Comments; or in person at any Fish and Game office or wolf management plan public meeting. The list of open houses across the State can be found at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/apps/releases/view.cfm?NewsID=4154

Katrina Chandler's time as a temporary hire for the NPT wolf project, inputting and organizing our library, ended 11/30/07. Thanks to her for a job well done.

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


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