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- Sept. 27 through Oct. 1, 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 September 24, 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 >31 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.

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.

Park County: On 9/29/10, WY Wildlife Services confirmed 1 calf was killed by wolves on a USFS grazing allotment west of Cody. Cattle are moving off the allotment on 10/2/10 and no additional depredations have occurred.

Sublette County: On 9/20/10, WGFD confirmed that 1 ewe had been killed by wolves on a grazing allotment near Pinedale. Sheep have moved off the grazing allotment for the season and no further depredations have occurred.

 

Table 2. Confirmed livestock depredations and control actions in WY from 2003 - 2010.
           Table 2 - Confirmed livestock depredations and control actions in Wyoming 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.
** In addition to 20 confirmed cattle depredations (losses), 1 dead calf was recorded as a probable wolf-kill, and 7 calves & 1 steer were also injured by wolves.

 

Figure 1. Annual wolf population size and the number of cattle and sheep losses per year in Wyoming (outside YNP) from 2000-2010. Preliminary population estimates and livestock depredations counts for 2010 were recorded as of October 1, 2010.  All additional livestock losses due to wolf depredations occurring between October 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010 will be reported in our Weekly Reports and our 2010 Annual Report.


Graph of wolf population and sheep and cattle losses for years 2000 until 2010

 

 

Figure 2. Annual number of wolf packs in Wyoming (outside YNP) and the number of wolf packs that are involved in at least 1 livestock depredation per given year.


Annual number of wolf packs in Wyoming, outside of Yellowstone National Park and the number of wolf packs that are involved in at least 1 livestock depredation per given year

 

RESEARCH
Nothing to report at this time.

LAW ENFORCEMENT AND RELATED ACTIVITIES   
Nothing to report at this time. 

OUTREACH AND EDUCATION

Retired USFWS biologist Carter Niemeyer’s memoirs of his career (WOLFER) will be coming out this fall.   www.carterniemeyer.com

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