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- October 13 through October 17, 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 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.
On October 14, 2008, the court vacated the final delisting rule and remanded it back to the FWS. The court dismissed the case without considering its merits, thereby ending the lawsuit and re-establishing full Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves in the NRM.
On 10/18/08, Wyoming Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in the Big Horn Mountains near Ten Sleep, WY. The calf died from causes unrelated to wolves; however, a wolf was seen scavenging the calf carcass. One set of wolf tracks was found near the carcass. A local resident recently took a photograph of a single black wolf walking through his cattle in the same area. Trapping efforts to radio collar this wolf will proceed after big game hunting season ends.
On 10/18/08, Wyoming Wildlife Services confirmed a calf injured by wolves in the Upper Green River drainage. On 10/20/08, WGFD confirmed a second calf injured by wolves in the same area. The calf was later euthanized due to the severity of the injuries. Control actions are ongoing to remove the 2 wolves that were involved in several depredations in the Upper Green River drainage this summer.
Nothing to report at this time.
Law Enforcement and Related Activities
Nothing to report at this time.
Outreach and Education
On 10/18/08, Doug Smith (YNP) gave a wolf lecture at the National Park Conservation association meeting at Old Faithful.
USFWS Regional Director Steve Guertin and WY Project Leader Mike Jimenez spoke to the Transportation, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resource Committee for the Wyoming legislature. Director Guertin updated the committee on the current status of wolf delisting in the northern Rocky Mountains.
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.