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- April 18, 2011 through May 6, 2011

           
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.

2010 Annual Report
The 2010 Interagency Annual Wolf (Canis lupus) Report for the NRM DPS will be available March 10, 2011 on-line at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov .  The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks section of the annual wolf report will also available on-line on its websites at http://fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/management/wolf/default.html.  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:  Wolves in the NRM DPS, except in Wyoming, were delisted on May 5, 2011- The recent federal legislation required that the 2009 NRM wolf delisting rule be re-published in the Federal Register.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 2009 science-based delisting rule was available for public review and comment for nearly 5 months.  Nearly 520,000 public comments were received and analyzed before it was finalized.  It was also reviewed by 8 of the top wolf experts in North America who determined it was scientifically sound.  The 2009 delisting rule was re-published in the Federal Register and became effective on May 5, 2011.  The NRM wolf population is biologically recovered and will remain so under state and tribal management in Montana, Idaho, eastern Washington and Oregon, and a small part of north central Utah.  Wolves in Wyoming remain listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).   You can refresh your memory of that rule at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov.  Sound science was appropriately used.  Now that wolves are delisted, they will be managed under state and tribal laws in a manner similar to mountain lions, black bears, elk and deer and other types of resident wildlife.  The states and tribes where wolves were delisted will do a great job for both wolf conservation and to meet the needs of people.

The Service has been asked what this means to other federal, state, and tribal cooperators.  Answer is very simple.  Wolves are now protected by state and tribal laws instead of the ESA throughout the NRM DPS except in Wyoming where wolves remain federally protected.  After the Service can approve a wolf management plan in Wyoming and after the normal regulatory process is completed, then wolves there could be delisted.  Wolves were delisted under this exact same rule from May 2009 until August 2010, so our state and tribal partners have had over a year of experience managing wolves that were not protected by the ESA.  It will take time to figure out future funding issues, how to continue coordinating wolf management and research throughout the NRM DPS, the best way to fine-tune management, and other on-the-ground issues, so some patience, understanding, and cooperation by the public will still be needed.  The Service will be working with our partners at each step along the way as this transition unfolds.  Wolf restoration has been an amazing biological success story and delisting represents the culmination the efforts of a host of partners.  

MONITORING
Numerous wolf dens have been located in NW Wyoming during recent telemetry flights. Flights will continue through the spring/early summer to confirm reproduction.

Table 1. Total wolf mortality in Wyoming (outside YNP) from 2003-2011.

Table 1 Total wolf mortality in Wyoming outside Yellowstone National Park from 2003 - 2011

CONTROL
Wyoming:
In May 2011, a single dispersing wolf killed 1 adult ewe on private property in Campbell County, near Gillette, WY. The USFWS issued the land owner a shoot-on-sight permit and requested W.S. to remove the wolf.

Table 1. Confirmed livestock depredations and control actions in WY from 2003 - 2011.
          Table 1. Confirmed livestock depredations and control actions in WY from 2003 - 2011
* A horse broke its leg and had to be euthanized after being chased by wolves in a pasture on private property.

 

RESEARCH
Nothing to report at this time. 

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

OUTREACH AND EDUCATION
On 5/4/11, Jimenez (USFWS) spoke to 40 NOLS teachers in Lander, WY. On 5/5/11, Scott Becker (USFWS) spoke to 5th graders from Powell elementary school at the Northwest College Station near Sunlight Basin, west of Cody, WY.

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 (Helena, MT) (406)449-5225 x204 or Ed_Bangs@FWS.GOV
Mike Jimenez (Jackson) (307)733-7096 or (307)330-5631 or Mike_Jimenez@FWS.GOV
Scott Becker (Cody) (307)527-8916 or (307)699-3411 or Scott_Becker@FWS.GOV

Last updated: January 24, 2012