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 29, 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 and 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.
On September 22, 2008 the U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion to the Federal District Court in Missoula, Montana requesting that the February 27, 2008 NRM wolf delisting final rule be vacated and remanded back to the USFWS for further consideration and action. The Court can take whatever time it believes it needs to make that decision. The Court had reinstated the listed status to wolves on July 18, 2008 via a preliminary injunction that indictated the Court believed the USFWS was unlikely to prevail in its case. The FWS, in consultation with its State and other partners, concluded that the best and most timely way to resolve this issue was to get the final rule back in its hands to closely review the Court's ruling, the final rule, the administrative record, any new information, and then consider whether modifications or some other action might be warranted.
A new pack of >4 wolves may have formed in the Dog Creek drainage west of Hoback, WY, near the Idaho/Wyoming border. Further investigations will be made to confirm this pack and determine whether the pack produced pups.
Radio collar efforts: We captured and radio collared 25 wolves from January through September 2008. Trapping/collaring efforts have ended for the summer now that big game seasons have begun. Collaring efforts will resume later this winter.
Wolf Mortality: From January 1, 2008 through September 29, 2008, the USFWS has documented 64 dead wolves in Wyoming (outside YNP). Causes of mortality include: agency control = 38 (59% of total mortality); hunters = 9 (14%); under investigation = 7 (11%); natural = 3 (5%); vehicle strikes = 2 (3%); individual livestock control = 2 (3%); capture related = 1 (2%); and unknown = 2 (3%).
On 9/16/08, 8 sheep were killed by wolves on a public grazing allotment in the Upper Green River drainage. On 9/20/08, 2 additional sheep were killed by wolves. Control is ongoing to remove the Green River Pack which has repeatedly killed livestock this summer (8 cattle and 14 sheep). The pack consists of 4 adults and probably did not produce pups this year.
On 9/20/08, 1 calf was killed by wolves on a public grazing allotment south of Dubois, WY. Control actions were completed when W.S. removed 3 wolves from the East Fork Pack on 9/29/08.
On 9/20/08, wolves in the Crandall Pack killed an adult cow on a public grazing allotment in the Sunlight Basin area. On 9/28/08, 1 additional calf was killed by Crandall Pack wolves on a public grazing allotment. Control actions were completed when W.S. killed an adult female wolf at the depredation site on 9/29/08
On 9/23/08, 1 yearling steer was killed by 3 wolves in the Sunlight Basin, west of Cody, WY. This summer the Sunlight Pack killed >6 cattle. The USFWS requested W.S. to remove the 3 Sunlight Pack wolves and a Shoot-on-site permit was issued to the livestock producer.
Depredations: From January 1, 2008 through September 29, 2008, 60 confirmed wolf depredations (34 cattle and 26 sheep) were recorded in Wyoming. Two additional cows and 1 calf were injured by wolves.
Nothing to report at this time.
Law Enforcement and Related Activities
Nothing to report at this time.
Outreach and Education
On 9/12/08, Doug Smith gave 2 interviews with BBC-England pertaining to a 3-hour documentary on Yellowstone National Park (YNP). Doug was interviewed about wolf issues in YNP and the Greater Yellowstone Area. One of these interviews was done in the Paradise Valley with a local rancher.
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