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- November 24, 2008 through November 28, 2008

Web address- USFWS reports (Past weekly and annual 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 Fish and Game websites.  All weekly and annual reports are government property and can be used for any purpose. Please distribute as you see fit.

Delisting update

The public comment period for the USFWS proposal to delist wolves in the NRM closed n November 28. The USFWS is currently analyzing comments. Information about the delisting process is available at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov.

Monitoring

On 11/26/08, Wyoming W.S. trapped and collared a 3-year old male wolf from the Absaroka Pack, west of Cody, WY.  Trapping and radio collaring efforts will continue for the next few weeks (weather permitting) in several packs in Meeteetse, Cody, and Big Piney.

Each year, we estimate the total number of wolves in WY (outside YNP) by combining 3 census techniques: 1) direct observations of wolves; 2) winter track counts of wolves traveling in snow; and 3) confirmed reports of wolf sightings from other agencies. We define a pack as >1 adult male and >1 adult female traveling together using a defined home range. A breeding pair is defined as >2 adults producing >2 pups that survive through 31 December of that year. We count the number of wolves in packs containing radio collared wolves using visual observations from the ground and aerial telemetry flights. We track wolves in winter and count the different sets of wolf tracks in snow. In areas where repeated sightings are confirmed, we incorporate those observations into our estimates. We average the high and low population estimates to calculate other statistics used to describe the wolf population in WY. Visual observations from telemetry flights in early January 2009 are also used to improve our year-end estimates.

We predict that the total number of wolves inhabiting the entire state of Wyoming in 2008 will be similar or slightly reduced to the number of wolves in 2007.  Preliminary counts in Yellowstone National Park indicate fewer wolves in 2008, while the number of wolves in Wyoming (outside YNP) in 2008 will be very similar compared to 2007 (approx. 180-190 wolves).  We estimate approx. 15-17 breeding pairs and 29 wolf packs in Wyoming (outside YNP) in 2008.  The USFWS will provide final minimal wolf population estimates in the 2008 Annual Report, which will be completed by the end of February 2009.

Table 1: Number of packs in Wyoming (outside YNP) and Yellowstone National Park from 2003-2007.

Area

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Wyoming (outside YNP)

13

10

13

23

25

Yellowstone Park

14

16

13

13

11

Total

27

26

26

36

36

Table 2: Number of breeding pairs in Wyoming (outside YNP) and Yellowstone National Park from 2003-2007.

Area

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Wyoming (outside YNP)

8

8

9

15

14

Yellowstone Park

13

16

7

10

10

Total

21

24

16

25

24

Control

Nothing to report at this time.

Research

Nothing to report at this time.

Law Enforcement and Related Activities

Nothing to report at this time.

Outreach and Education

On 11/23/08, Jimenez spoke to a group of approx. 200 people at a film festival in Jackson, WY that viewed a Public Television Nature Series program in a Wolf Bounty Hunter (E.T. Seton) and wolf extermination in New Mexico in the late 1890’s.

Further Information

To request an investigation of livestock injured of killed by wolves, please contact U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Wildlife Services at (307) 261-5336.

For additional information, please contact:
Ed Bangs (406) 449-5225 x 204 or Ed_Bangs@fws.gov
Mike Jimenez (307) 733-7096 or (307) 330-5631 or Mike_Jimenez@fws.gov

Last updated: November 8, 2012