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- August17 through August 21, 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.

Annual Reports
The Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery 2008 Annual Report is available at: http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov .
                             
Delisting Litigation Status
The State of Wyoming, Park County, and the Wyoming Wolf Coalition 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. In addition, a lawsuit was filed in Federal District Court in Missoula (9th Circuit) on June 2 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.  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.  On 8/20/09, a preliminary injunction was filed by the coalition of 13 environmental and animal rights groups requesting that wolves in Montana and Idaho be placed back on the Endangered Species list while the court decides the case within the next year. 

Monitoring
Nothing to report at this time.

Control
On 8/19/09, WY Wildlife Services confirmed a calf killed by wolves west of Cody, WY. Control was completed on 8/20/09 when 2 wolves were removed to minimize additional depredations.

On 8/20/09, WY Wildlife Services confirmed 2 lambs killed by wolves between Pinedale and Big Piney, WY. The USFWS requested WY Wildlife Services to remove 2 wolves seen in the area of the depredations.

On 8/21/09, WY Wildlife Services confirmed an adult cow was killed and a 2nd adult cow was injured by wolves near Sunlight Basin, west of Cody, WY. An employee of the livestock producer observed 3 wolves attacking the injured cow. The cow was severely injured and was euthanized. Wolves in this area have a history of chronic depredations. The USFWS requested Wildlife Services to remove the 3 wolves involved in the depredation.

Summary of livestock depredations in 2009: Wolf depredation patterns this summer in Wyoming have been different compared to previous years. Wolves have killed exceptionally large numbers of sheep but fewer cattle in the first 8 months of 2009, compared to 2008 and 2007. Five wolves have been removed in 2009.

Sheep and guard dog depredations: From January through August 2009, 3 packs (Big Horn Mtn., Dog Creek, and Black Butte Packs) have killed >152 sheep and 3 guard dogs, compared to 14 sheep killed from January through August in 2008  and 16 sheep killed  from January through August in 2007 (Figure 1). The increase in sheep depredations in 2009 is due mainly to 2 new packs that recently formed in areas heavily grazed by domestic sheep. The Big Horn Mtn. Pack (2 adults probably with pups) killed > 70 sheep in June and July. The Dog Creek Pack (4-6 adults with 6 pups) killed >45 sheep and 3 guard dogs in August. The Black Butte Pack existed for the last 2 years and killed >37 sheep and injured 1 guard dog in 2009. Control is ongoing to remove wolves in all of these areas where depredations have continued.
Sheep kill by wolves during 2007-2009

Figure 1. Number of confirmed domestic sheep killed/month by wolves in Wyoming 2007 – 2009

 

Cattle and pet dog depredations: From January through August 2009, Wildlife Services confirmed 9 cattle killed by wolves as compared to 29 cattle killed by wolves in the same time period in 2008 and 44 cattle in 2007 (Figure 2). One pet dog was also killed by wolves in 2009.

 

Figure 2. Number of confirmed domestic cattle killed/month by wolves in Wyoming 2007 – 2009

 

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 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
Mike Jimenez (307)733-7096 or (307)330-5631 or  Mike_Jimenez@FWS.GOV    

Last updated: November 8, 2012