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 through October 3, 2008Web 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 indicated 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.
Packs and Breeding Pairs in Wyoming (outside YNP):
- Confirmed packs: 19
- Confirmed breeding pairs: 16
- Total number of wolves: >181
Wolf Mortality: From January 1, 2008 through October 3, 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%).
Radio Collar Efforts: Twenty-five wolves were captured and radio collared in Wyoming (outside YNP) 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.
Depredations: Livestock depredations have predictably declined this fall as cattle and sheep come off public grazing allotments. From January 1, 2008 through October 3, 2008, a total of >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 October 1, Bangs was interviewed for a documentary film being made by Mofilms out of Oakland, CA. They make documentary films on various social issues and then distribute them free via the internet. Earlier that day he was interviewed over the phone by a University Arizona Doctoral student about the role of stakeholder groups in federal rulemaking, including the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and the February 27, 2008 final wolf delisting rule. Other federal, state and tribal employees, NGO representatives, and special interest groups were also contacted in both these projects.
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.