Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains
Mountain-Prairie Region

Wyoming Gray Wolf Recovery Status Report

From:        Mike Jimenez, NRM Wolf Management & Science Coordinator, Jackson, WY

Subject:    Status of Gray Wolf Management in Wyoming and the NRM

January 2012

Web Address – USFWS reports (past status and annual reports) can be viewed at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov .   All status and annual reports are government property and can be used for any purpose.  Please distribute as you see fit.

2011 Annual Report
The 2011 Interagency Annual Wolf (Canis lupus) Report for the NRM DPS will be available in early March 2012 on-line at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov .  The annual wolf report is composed of seven sections: 1) Montana; 2) Wyoming; 3) Idaho; 4) Washington; 5) Oregon; 6) USFWS overview of funding, litigation, contact information, and relevant publications; and 7) tables and figures of wolf population statistics and wolf depredations in the NRM DPS. 

Information about wolves in other NRM states
Idaho at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/wildlife/wolves/.
Montana at: http://fwp.mt.gov/wildthings/management/wolf/default.html.
Oregon at:  www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves
Washington at: http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/gray_wolf/

MONITORING
Information about wolves in the NRM DPS (Idaho, eastern Oregon, Montana, north central Utah, eastern Washington, and Wyoming) will be published in the 2011 NRM Interagency Annual Wolf Report which will be available in early March 2012. Ongoing updates for these states include:

Idaho: As of 2/17/2012, 229 wolves were harvested by hunters and 77 wolves were taken by trappers. Hunting season closed in 2 wolf zones (Beaverhead and Island Park) on December 31. The remaining wolf hunting zones are scheduled to close on March 31, with the exception of 2 zones (Lolo and Selway) closing on June 30. Trapping season (5 wolf zones) is scheduled to close on March 31.

Montana: The wolf hunting season closed on 2/15/2012 with 166 wolves harvested.

Oregon: The Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan was adopted in 2005 and updated in 2010. At least 5 packs exist in the eastern portion of the state within the NRM DPS and >2 wolves have dispersed west outside of the DPS.

Washington: The Washington Fish and Game Commission approved a final wolf conservation and management plan in December 2011. At least 3 packs exist in the eastern portion of the state in the NRM DPS and >2 packs exist in the federally listed western portion of the state.
Utah: No wolf packs were documented in Utah in 2011.

Yellowstone National Park:  On 31 December 2011, > 98 wolves in 10 packs (including 8 breeding pairs), with 2 loners occupied Yellowstone National Park (YNP).

Wyoming (outside YNP)
: On 31 December 2001, Wyoming (WY) had >230 wolves and > 38 packs (including > 19 breeding pairs) outside YNP (Figures 1 and 2).

 

Figure 1. Minimum number of wolf packs and breeding pairs in WY: 1999-2011. 

Figure 1.  Minimum number of wolf packs and breeding pairs in Wyoming 1999 - 2011

Figure 2. Wolf population growth in WY: 2000 - 2011.

Figure 2. Wolf population growth in WY: 2000 - 2011

 

Table 1. Total wolf mortality in WY (outside YNP) from 2003 through January 31, 2012.


Cause of Mortality 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Total
Depredation Control 18 29 41 44 63 46 31 40 36 0 348
Natural 3 0 3 1 2 3 2 2 3 0 19
Under Investigation 5 1 5 8 5 8 0 8 2 0 42
Unknown 1 0 0 1 2 8 7 4 5 0 28
Other 0 6 2 5 3 14 0 4 5 0 39
Total 27 36 51 59 75 79 40 58 51 0 476

 

LIVESTOCK CONFLICTS

WYOMING: In 2011, wolves killed > 65 livestock (35 cattle and 30 sheep), 1 horse, and 1 dog in Wyoming (Table 2). Two packs [Green River (15 cattle) and Dog Creek (17 sheep) and 1 wolf in the Big Horn Mountains (10 sheep) were responsible for 42 depredations (64% of the total number of depredations). Fifteen packs (40% of WY packs in 2011) were involved in > 1 depredation; 8 packs (21%) were involved in > 2 depredations; and 6 packs (16%) were involved in > 3 depredations in 2011.

Table 2: Confirmed livestock depredations and control actions in WY from 2003 through January 31, 2012.  

           Year 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Total
Cattle 34 75 54 123 55 41 20 26 35  0^ 463
Sheep 7 18 27 38 16 26 195 33 30 0 390
Other 2 10 1 0 1 0 0 1   1* 0 16
Dogs 0 2 1 1 2 0 7 0 1 0 14
Total 43 105 83 162 74 67 222 60 67 0 883

* A horse broke its leg and had to be euthanized after being chased by wolves in a pasture on private property. Six additional horses, 3 calves, and 1 dog were injured in 2011.

^ Wolves repeatedly chased cattle on private property. A calf was injured when wolves ran cattle through a fence.

RESEARCH
The USFWS and Grand Teton National Park (GRTE) began their 3rd field season of a collaborative winter wolf predation study in early January 2012. We are monitoring 3 wolf packs in the north end of GRTE and the surrounding national forest to investigate wolf predation patterns in areas of relatively low winter elk density. We use GPS and VHF radio collars to track wolves and locate carcasses of ungulates killed by wolves. Between 10 January and 31 January, we located 13 wolf kills. Prey species and composition included 10 elk (3 bulls, 4 cows, 2 calves, and 1 adult unknown sex) and 3 moose (1 cow and 2 calves).

FURTHER INFORMATION
To request an investigation of livestock injured or killed by wolves in Wyoming, please contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services at (307)261-5336.

For additional information, please contact:
Mike Jimenez at (307)330-5631 or (307)733-7096 or mike_jimenez@fws.gov
Scott Becker (Cody) (307)527-8916 or (307)699-3411 or scott_becker@fws.gov

Last updated: November 8, 2012