Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains
Mountain-Prairie Region

Wyoming Gray Wolf Recovery Status Report

From:               USFWS Wyoming Wolf Recovery Project Leader, Jackson, WY

Subject:            Status of Gray Wolf Management in Wyoming and the NRM

WYOMING WOLF WEEKLY- September 15, 2008

Web Address – USFWS reports (past weekly and annual reports) and Wyoming weekly reports can be viewed at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov  .  Weekly reports for Montana and Idaho are produced by those States can be viewed on the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and Idaho Department of Fish and Game websites.  Information concerning wolf management in Wyoming from 3/28/08 through 7/18/08 can be found on the Wyoming Game and Fish (WGFD) web site at  http://gf.state.wy.us .  Beginning 9/15/08, the USFWS will publish weekly wolf reports for Wyoming.  All weekly and annual reports are government property and can be used for any purpose.  Please distribute as you see fit.

Wolf Litigation and management:Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains (NRM) were delisted on March 28, 2008.  On July 18, 2008, the U.S. Federal District Court in Missoula, Montana, issued a preliminary injunction that immediately reinstated temporary Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves in the NRM. All wolves in Wyoming are protected under the ESA as an experimental population and managed by the USFWS.

Monitoring
Two new packs were confirmed in Wyoming in September 2008:  1) Rim Pack (3-4 adults) north of Pinedale and  2) Chagrin River Pack (>4 adults) west of Victor, ID. Both packs have dispersing radio collared wolves from the Jackson area; however, reproductive status has not been confirmed in either pack.

TENTATIVE 2008 MID-YEAR WOLF POPULATION STATISTICS IN THE NORTHERN ROCKY MOUNTAINS- Each year we provide a rough mid-year [mid September] wolf population estimate for wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains [NRM].  There are no known wolf packs in the NRM DPS area [all of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and the eastern one third of Washington and Oregon and a small part of Utah north of Salt Lake City] outside of Montana, Idaho, or Wyoming.  However, a new pack containing a breeding pair and 6 pups was found in north central Washington near Twisp, WA, outside of the NRM DPS.  Genetic samples indicate they did not originate from the NRM and likely came from western central British Columbia.  Our official interagency estimates in our 2008 annual interagency report [March 1, 2009] will certainly be different and much more accurate than these because of better wolf monitoring conditions in fall/winter and ongoing livestock depredation, wolf mortality, and dispersal.  These mid-year 2008 figures do give some insight into the likely trend of the wolf population, conflicts, and control relative to last year.  Overall, the NRM wolf population in 2008 will likely be about the same as it was in 2007, while confirmed livestock depredations and lethal wolf control will be higher than that documented in 2007. The following table compares 2008 mid-year wolf and depredation estimates with our 2007 mid-year estimates:

State       Year       Wolves   Packs     Breeding pairs     Cattle killed         Sheep     Dogs   Other    Control

MT         2007        394            71               37                            48                         19            1            1              50
MT         2008        360            74               36                            44                         39            0            6              60

ID            2007        788            75               41                            36                     150              7            0              40
ID            2008        771            89               39                            81                     189         10               0              81

WY         2007        362            33               27                            28                         16            2            0              45
WY         2008        332            34               22                            45                         16            0            0              31

Total       2007     1545           179            105                          111                      185         10               1          134             
                2008     1455           197            +97                          169                      242         10               6          172

Other= 6 llamas
Control= wolves lethally removed in agency authorized control actions, including legal defense of property by private citizens - does not include wolves killed in Wyoming’s predatory animal area by hunters [9 wolves].

Control
From 7/18/08 to 9/15/08, livestock depredations have occurred mainly in the Green River drainage and in Sunlight Basin/Crandall drainages. WGFD and Wildlife Services have confirmed 9 cattle and 4 sheep killed by wolves in the Green River drainage. At least 8 cattle have been killed by wolves in the Sunlight Basin/Crandall drainages. Agency control actions to remove problem wolves are ongoing in the Green River and in the Crandall drainages to minimize additional depredations.

Research
As part of the ongoing Absaroka Elk Project, University of Wyoming graduate students, WGFD, YNP, and Quicker Silver Air re-captured 15 resident elk along the Absaroka Front and re-captured 15 migratory Sunlight elk in YNP to replace radio collars, assess body condition, and determine reproductive status. The PhD project is examining the body condition and reproductive status of elk in relation to habitat selection and forage conditions.   

Law Enforcement and Related Activities
Nothing to report at this time.

Outreach and Education
On 7/15/08, Jimenez gave an evening wolf presentation to the public for the National Elk Refuge. On 8/20/08, Jimenez spoke at a lunch-time meeting for business men and women in Jackson.

On 9/16/08, Jimenez gave a lecture on wolf management to a graduate class in Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming. On 9/17/08, Jimenez participated in a panel discussion on wolf management at Utah Valley University.

Further Information
To request an investigation of livestock injured or killed by wolves, please contact your nearest WGFD office or call Wildlife Services at (307)261-5336.

For additional information, please contact:
Ed Bangs (406)449-5225 x204 or Ed_Bangs@FWS.GOV

Mike Jimenez (307)733-7096 or (307)330-5631 or  Mike_Jimenez@FWS.GOV
Last updated: November 8, 2012