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- Oct. 4 through Oct. 8, 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.

 

MONITORING
Wyoming: As of October 8, 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.

Wolf mortality in Wyoming, outside of 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: On 10/6/10, WGFD confirmed that 1 calf had been killed by wolves on a grazing allotment in the Upper Green River drainage. Based on the necropsy performed on the dead calf, it appeared that the animal had been injured by wolves and later died from infection. Cattle are currently leaving the allotment for the grazing season.

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 8, 2010.  All additional livestock losses due to wolf depredations occurring between October 8, 2010 and December 31, 2010 will be reported in our Weekly Reports and our 2010 Annual Report. Graph of sheep and cattle losses along with wolf population for 2000 - 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.

Bar chart of number of wolves in wyoming and the number of depredating wolf packs for years 2000 - 2010

 

RESEARCH
Nothing to report at this time.

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

OUTREACH AND EDUCATION
Bangs and Jimenez (USFWS) gave presentations on wolf recovery at the annual Wildlife Society meeting in Snowbird, Utah.

Two articles describing wolf genetics and genetic connectivity in the NRM were recently published in Molecular Ecology.

Vonholdt BM, Stahler, DR, Bangs, EE, Smith DW, Jimenez MD, CURT M. Mack CM, 
Niemeyer CC, Pollinger JP, and Wayne RK. 2010. A novel assessment of population structure and gene flow in grey wolf populations of the Northern Rocky Mountains of the United States. Molecular Ecology 19, 4412–4427.

Hebblewhite  M, Musiani M, and LC Mills. 2010. Restoration of genetic connectivity
 among Northern Rockies wolf populations. Molecular Ecology 19, 4383–4385.

One article analyzing the effects of hunting wolves in the NRM wolf population was published on:   PLoS ONE | www.plosone.org

Creel S, and  Rotella JJ. Meta-Analysis of Relationships between Human Offtake,
Total Mortality and Population Dynamics of Gray Wolves (Canis lupus). September 10 |Volume 5 | Issue 9 | e12918

 

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