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- June 22 through June 26, 2009
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 Department of 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.
The Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery 2008 Annual Report is available at: http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov .
Delisting Litigation Status
On June 2, a lawsuit was filed in Federal District Court in Missoula (9th Circuit) by a coalition of 13 environmental and animals rights groups. Another separate lawsuit challenging the USFWS delisting criteria was filed shortly after in the 9th Circuit by the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. While the two groups have their own attorneys, both those cases have now been consolidated in the Missoula District Court under Judge Molloy. Their complaint alleges the NRM wolf population is not recovered and that the delisting violates the federal Endangered Species Act for many legal reasons, including delisting can not occur without an adequate Wyoming regulatory framework in place, which is not currently the case. A request for a preliminary injunction has not been filed at this time. In addition, the State of Wyoming filed a lawsuit in the 10th Circuit (Cheyenne Wyoming) challenging USFWS’s rejection of Wyoming’s regulatory framework and the Wyoming state wolf management plan. Park County, Wyoming is expected it file its case on Friday June 19, also arguing Wyoming should have been delisted. A lawsuit and a request for an injunction were filed by environmental and animals rights groups over the USFWS decision to delist wolves in the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment on Thursday June 18.
On 6/17/09, an adult wolf pulled out of a trap set by USFWS trappers (Susannah Woodruff and Kellie Antrobus) on the west side of the Teton Range in Wyoming. On 6/22/09, USFWS trappers inadvertently caught and released 2 pups from the Chagrin River Pack. On 6/24/09, an adult female was captured and radio collared.
On 5/4/09, >2 wolves began killing sheep on private land in the southern portion of the Big Horn Mountains, between Kaycee and Ten Sleep, WY. As of 6/26/09, Wildlife Services (WS) confirmed > 52 sheep, belonging to 4 different producers, have been killed by wolves. The USFWS requested WS to remove all wolves from the immediate vicinity. Several WS trappers are working in the area where the depredations occurred and fixed-wing flights have been flown attempting to locate the wolves. WS attempted to locate and remove the 2 wolves this week using a helicopter, but were unsuccessful. The USFWS issued 2 Shoot-on-Site permits to livestock producers in the area and will continue to issue permits to other affected producers, thereby allowing them to remove depredating wolves on private property.
On 6/20/09, University of Wyoming PhD graduate student Arthur Middleton retrieved a Telonics GPS collar that blew off 8 months prematurely. The collar was originally placed on a female wolf belonging to the Beartooth Pack in the Sunlight Basin in January 2009.
Law Enforcement and Related Activities
Nothing to report at this time.
Outreach and Education
Nothing to report at this time.
To request an investigation of livestock injured or killed by wolves, please contact the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Wildlife Services at (307)261-5336.
For additional information, please contact:
Ed Bangs (406)449-5225 x204 or Ed_Bangs@FWS.GOV