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- October 20 through October 24, 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 October 24, 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it was reopening the public comment period on its proposal to delist the gray wolf in the northern Rocky Mountains. The public will have until November 28, 2008, to submit their comments to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov or via U.S. mail or hand delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: RIN 1018-Au53; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Dive, Suite 222; Arlington, VA 22203.

Monitoring
Routine telemetry flights located wolves in the Upper Green River drainage, the National Elk Refuge, Grand Teton Park, and the Bridger-Teton and Shoshone National Forests.

 Control
Most livestock has left summer grazing allotments and all agency control actions are complete at this time.

The USFWS manages wolf population growth and distribution in Wyoming (outside Yellowstone National Park) to minimize chronic loss of livestock from wolves. In 2007, we reduced the total number of confirmed livestock depredations by >55% compared to the number of depredations in 2006 by aggressively removing chronically depredating wolves early in the grazing seasons. We predict the number of confirmed depredations in 2008 will again be significantly lower than the number of depredations in 2006. While reducing livestock depredations, we continue to maintain the Wyoming wolf population (outside Yellowstone National Park) well above recovery objectives with >20 confirmed packs, >17 breeding pairs, and approximately 180 wolves.

 

                                    2003        2004         2005        2006        2007       2008*
Cattle                             34            75              54         123            55           35                        
Sheep                               7            18              27           38            16           26
Dogs                                0              2                1             1              2             0
Other                             10              1                0             1              0             0
Wolves controlled         18            29              41           44            63           38        

* 2008 figures are from January through October 24, 2008.

 

Research
Nothing to report at this time.

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

Outreach and Education
Nothing to report at this time.

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