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- March 22 through April 9, 2010

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

2009 Annual Report
The 2009 Interagency Annual Wolf (Canis lupus) Report for the NRM DPS in 2009 can be viewed on-line at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov .  The Idaho and Montana state sections of the annual wolf report are also available on-line at the websites for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks http://fwp.mt.gov/wildthings/management/wolf/default.html and Idaho Department of Fish and Game http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/wolves.  The annual wolf report is composed of five Sections: 1) Montana; 2) Wyoming; 3) Idaho; 4) USFWS overview of dispersal, funding, litigation, and relevant publications; and 5) Tables and Figures of wolf population statistics and wolf depredations. 

                           
Litigation Status
Wyoming: Oral arguments were heard in federal court in Cheyenne, WY on January 29 to address the state of Wyoming’s request that the USFWS accept the Wyoming Wolf Management Plan. A decision from Judge Allen Johnson is pending.

NRM: A hearing on the preliminary injunction request was held in Federal Court in Missoula, MT on August 31. Oral arguments were heard from the plaintiffs, U.S. Department of Interior, Montana, and Idaho. On September 8, the Federal Court denied the preliminary injunction motion filed by Defenders of Wildlife and others to stop the 2009 regulated gray wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana.  However, in issuing his order, the judge indicated that his preliminary review of the overall delisting case raised questions about Service’s approach of conferring ESA protections to a “significant portion of the range” of a species, as opposed to designating the entire species as a threatened or endangered species. A hearing date for oral arguments has not been set, but is expected to be soon after legal briefs are completed in late January 2010. 

Monitoring
On 3/24/10, the YNP wolf crew completed their winter capture efforts by darting and radio collaring 2 wolves (1 male yearling and 1 female pup) from the Gibbons Meadows Pack. This winter the Park radio collared 18 wolves. 

Control
On 3/10/10, WY Wildlife Services confirmed a calf killed by 3 wolves NW of Pinedale, WY.  These 3 wolves were part of a pack that killed >37 sheep and 1 yearling steer last summer. Control efforts were completed when Wildlife Services removed 3 wolves from the Black Butte Pack.

Table 1. Livestock depredations and control actions in Wyoming from 2002 - 2010.

       Livestock depredations 2002 - 2010

 

Research
The YNP winter predation study ended on March 30th.  Data are still being analyzed, but preliminary results indicate that kill rates on down this winter compared to past years. As part of an exchange program, 2 wolf researchers from Italy assisted the YNP wolf crew this winter and gained experience investigating carcasses of ungulates killed by wolves.

On 4/2/10, the collaborative predation research with GRTE and the USFWS ended for winter 2010. From 6 January through 2 April 2010, 2 crews monitored wolf packs daily in the northern end of Jackson Hole to determine predation patterns.   The USFWS crew monitored Pacific Creek and Buffalo pack wolves in the Buffalo Fork and around Elk Ranch and found 20 known/probable wolf kills: 13 (65%) were elk (7 bulls, 3 cows, 3 calves) and 7 (35%) were moose (2 bulls, 4 cows, 1 unknown).  The GRTE crew monitored the Phantom Springs Pack around Jackson Lake east to Pacific Creek and south along the Snake River to Schwabacher’s Landing and found 15 known/probable kills: 10 (67%) were elk (5 bulls, 4 calves, 1 unknown) and 5 (33%) were moose (4 cows, 1 calf).  Combined, the crews found 35 kills: 23 elk (66%) and 12 moose (34%). 

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

Outreach and Education  
Numerous websites for wolf information are listed each year in our Annual Report. Inadvertently, Wolf Watch @ http:www.pinedaleonline.com/wolf/ was not included this year. We apologize for this omission.

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