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- September 6 through September 17, 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

Information about Washington wolves can be viewed at: http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/gray/wolf/

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, >28 wolf packs have denned throughout Wyoming (including all national parks) 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): 17 BP = We estimate >32 packs in Wyoming (outside national parks) with 17 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, Washakie, 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.

pic1

Montana: During a livestock depredation control action on 9/14/10, MT Wildlife Services killed a wolf that had killed domestic goats and sheep north of Helena, MT. The depredating wolf turned out to be a 5 year-old female wolf (#619f) that had dispersed from the Absaroka Pack west of Cody, WY. She produced > 5 pups last spring in Montana. Wolf 619f was originally radio collared in 2007 and dispersed sometime in fall of 2009.

Washington: A male wolf pup that was recently trapped near the Canadian border may indicate a third wolf pack exists in Pend Oreille County in northeast Washington. Attempts are continuing to radio collar an adult wolf in the area. Washington’s second pack moves between Idaho and Washington (in southern Pend Oreille County) and produced 6 pups in 2010. The status of Washington’s first pack (Lookout Pack) is uncertain. WDFW has been unable to locate the female wolf since mid-May. The male wolf is still being monitored and no pups have been found. 

Oregon: The Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan goes before the Commission for approval on Sept 30 and possibly October 1. 

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.
 

Fremont County: On 9/13/10, WGFD investigated a dead calf on a USFS grazing allotment near Moccasin Basin by Togwotee Pass. Wolves feeding on the carcass had consumed enough of the carcass to make it impossible to positively determine the cause of death; however, there was sufficient evidence to record the dead calf as a probable wolf kill. WGFD will compensate the producer for the lost calf. If the producer loses additional cattle from confirmed wolf depredations, we will remove some wolves from the area to minimize additional losses.
            On 9/17/10, WY Wildlife Services confirmed calf was injured by wolves in the Wiggins Fork Pack, near Dubois, WY. The same producer lost another calf to wolves earlier this summer. Control is ongoing to remove 3 wolves.

Park County: On 9/16/10, USFWS and W.S. confirmed 4 calves were injured by wolves on a grazing allotment west of Cody. Control is ongoing to remove 2-3 wolves from the Hoodoo Pack.

Table 2. Confirmed livestock depredations and control actions in WY from 2003 - 2010.
           pic2

*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

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. 

New wolf publication: Kauffman, M. J., J. F. Brodie, and E. S. Jules. 2010. Are wolves saving Yellowstone’s aspen? A landscape-level test of a behaviorally mediated trophic cascade. Ecology (Ecological Society of America), 91(9), 2010, pp. 2742–2755.

 

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