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- August 23 through September 3, 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. 

Information about Oregon wolves can be viewed at:  www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves 

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. 

Northern Rocky Mountains: The U.S. Federal District Court in Missoula, Montana, issued an order on August 5, 2010, in Defenders of Wildlife et al. v. Salazar, CV 09-77-M-DWM and Greater Yellowstone Coalition v. Salazar, CV 09-82-M-DWM, which vacated the delisting of the Northern Rocky Mountain (NRM) Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the gray wolf.   In compliance with this order, wolves are again considered endangered throughout the NRM DPS except where they are classified as experimental populations (southern Montana, Idaho south of Interstate 90, and all of Wyoming). 

Monitoring
Wyoming: As of August 31, 2010, >27 wolf packs have denned in Wyoming in 2010. We anticipate more breeding pairs will be identified this summer as additional den/rendezvous sites are located and reproduction is confirmed. Reproducing packs in Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park (YNP), and Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) include:

Wyoming (outside national parks): 16 BP = We estimate >32 packs in Wyoming (outside national parks) with 16 packs producing pups (Absaroka, Beartooth, Chagrin River, Dog Creek, East Fork, Elk Fork Creek, Greybull River, Green River, Hoodoo, Lava Mountain, Pacific Creek, Pinnacle Peak, South Fork, Sunlight, Owl Creek, and Wiggins Fork).
 
YNP: 9 BP = 13 documented packs with 9 packs producing pups (Agate, Black
 Tail, Canon, Cougar, Delta, Lamar, Madison, Molly, and Quadrant).
             
GTNP: 2 BP = 2 documented packs with 1 pack producing pups (Phantom Springs), plus 1 pack that is suspected to have denned (Huckleberry).

Table 1. Total wolf mortality in Wyoming (outside YNP) from 2003-2010.

Table 1: Total wolf mortality in Wyoming (outside Yellowstone National Park) from 2003 - 2010

Control
Wyoming: We continue to manage wolf population growth and wolf distribution to minimize chronic loss of livestock from wolves and promote wolf conservation by maintaining the Wyoming wolf population well above recovery objectives.
 
Sublette County: WY Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves from the Green River Pack (13 wolves) killed 1 calf on 8/14/10, 2 calves on 8/15/10, and 1 calf on 8/17/10 in the Upper Green River drainage. The pack killed 2 additional calves earlier this summer. Wildlife Services trapped and radio collar a pup on 8/24/10. Control was completed when W.S. removed 5 wolves on 8/31/10.

Park County: On 8/26/10, WY Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves from the Absaroka Pack (10 wolves) killed a calf.  Control was completed on 8/28/10 when 2 wolves were removed.

Fremont County: WY Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves from the East Fork Pack (8 wolves) killed 1 calf on 8/8/10, 1 calf on 8/14/10 and an adult cow on 8/15/10. On 8/20/10, Wildlife Services captured and radio collared an adult male and an adult female wolf. Control actions were completed on 8/27/10 after 2 wolves were removed.

Table 2. Confirmed livestock depredations and control actions in WY from 2003 - 2010.
           Table 2: Confirmed livestock depredations and control actions in WY from 2003 - 2010

*One foal was killed by wolves (recorded as confirmed), 2 horses were chased by wolves and injured when they were run through a fence (recorded as 1 confirmed and 1 probable), and 1 horse was chased by wolves and broke its leg when it was run over a cattle guard (recorded as probable). All 3 injured horses had to be euthanized.  

Research
Nothing to report at this time.

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

Outreach and Education

Jimenez (USFWS) was at the USFWS National Conservation Training Center in West Virginia at a week-long meeting with state and federal biologists from the Mexican, the northern Rocky Mountain, Western Great lakes, and Red wolf programs. State representatives from the Pacific Northwest and Northeast also participated. The meeting focused on wolf recovery, delisting options, and wolf taxonomy through out the lower 48 states.

Montana: MTFWP is advertising for a wolf specialist position in Livingston, Montana. Please see the attached announcement for information and use the following link:
https://svc.mt.gov/statejobsearch/listingdetails.aspx?id=3555
Application deadline is 9-17-10. 

 
NRM: On August 20, 2010, the Defenders of Wildlife announced that they will end their wolf compensation program as of September 10, 2010. For more information, please view the Defenders website.
              
On 8/27/10, Doug Smith (NPS), Sarah Dewey (NPS), Steve Cain (NPS), and John Stephenson (NPS) spoke at the Murie Center in Grand Teton National Park about wolves in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

New Interesting wolf publications in latest Journal of Wildlife Management Vol 74.  Pg 1421- L.D. Mech.  Considerations for developing wolf harvest regulations in the contiguous United States.   Pg 1425- A. Summers, C. Price, C. Urbigkit, and E. Peterson. Quantifying economic impacts of large carnivore depredation on bovine calves.  Ecological Modeling. Vol 221.  Pg 2374.  M. Musiani et al.  How humans shape wolf behavior in Banff and Kootenay National Parks.

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