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 REPORT – Aug. 1, 2011 through Aug. 12, 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
On 7/26/11, oral arguments were presented to U.S. District Judge Donald Malloy. Four environmental groups challenged the constitutionality of the congressional rider which directed the USFWS to reissue its 2009 delisting rule. On August 3, Judge Malloy upheld the constitutionality of the congressional rider. Environmental groups are appealing the decision to the ninth circuit.

On August 3, 2011, Judge Malloy ruled in favor of the USFWS on challenges to the Service’s 10(j) regulations governing the management of nonessential experimental wolf populations in the northern Rocky Mountains.

The USFWS and Wyoming have reached an agreement in principle which will enable the Service to proceed with a proposed delisting rule for wolves in Wyoming. The WGFD has modified their wolf management plan to reflect the agreed upon principles. The plan is available for public comments and can be viewed at:    http://gf.state.wy.us/
 
MONITORING
Wolf breeding pairs are defined as >1 adult male and >1 adult female with >2 pups that survive through December 31 of their birth year. As of mid August, at least 19 packs are confirmed or suspected to have produced pups in 2011 in Wyoming (outside Yellowstone National Park) in the following areas:

            West of Cody/Meeteetse/Sunlight Basin

  • Absaroka
  • Beartooth
  • Greybull
  • Hoodoo
  • Pahaska
  • South Fork

Dubois/Togwotee Pass

  • East Fork
  • Lava Mtn.

Pinedale/South

  • Green River
  • New Fork
  • Prospect

Jackson/West

  • Pinnacle Peak
  • Lower Gros Ventre
  • Upper Gros Ventre
  • Phantom Springs
  • Huckleberry
  • Pacific
  • Chagrin
  • Dog Creek

 

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

Cause of Mortality 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Depredation Control 18 29 41 44 63 46 31 33 13
Natural 3 0 3 1 2 3 2 1 1
Under Investigation 5 1 5 8 5 8 0 4 1
Unknown 1 0 0 1 2 8 7 2 4
Other 0 7 2 5 3 14 0 5 2
Total 27 37 51 59 75 79 40 45 21

CONTROL
Wyoming:
During July 2011, the Dog Creek pack killed >17 sheep and injured a guard dog on a public grazing allotment. Depredation control was completed on 8/7/11 when Idaho Wildlife Services removed 4 wolves.

On July 20, wolves from the Green River pack killed 1 calf on a USFS grazing allotment. On 8/3/11, wolves injured 3 calves in the same allotment. The calves had to be euthanized. Control efforts were completed on 8/10/11 when Wyoming Wildlife Services removed 2 wolves.

Between 7/16 through 7/19, a wolf killed >10 sheep on private property in the Big Horn Mountains. The USFWS requested Wyoming Wildlife Services to remove the wolf and issued a Shoot-on-Sight permit to the producer. Control actions are ongoing.

Confirmed wolf depredations and subsequent control actions from 2003-2011 are reported in Table 2.

Table 2. Confirmed livestock depredations and control actions in WY from 2003 - 2011.

Depredations   2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Cattle   34 75 54 123 55 41 20 22 16
Sheep   7 18 27 38 16 26 195 33 28
Dogs   0 2 1 1 2 0 7 0 1
Goats   0 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Horses   2 0 1 0 1 0 0 1  0*
Wolves Controlled   18 29 41 44 63 46 31 33 13

       
* 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
Recently published articles on wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains include:

Gude, J. A., M. S. Mitchell, R. E. Russell, C. A. Sime, E. E. Bangs, L. D. Mech, and R.
R. Ream. 2011. Wolf population dynamics in the U.S. Northern Rocky Mountains are affected by recruitment and human-caused mortality. Journal of Wildlife Management. In press.

Hebblewhite, M. 2011. Unreliable knowledge about economic impacts of large
carnivores on bovine calves. Journal of Wildlife Management. In press.
http://www.cfc.umt.edu/HebLab/PDFS/JWM_Hebblewhite_unreliable%20knowledge%20carnivores%20bovine%20calves%202011.pdf

Lance, N. J., S. W. Breck, C. Sime, P. Callahan, J. A. Shivik. 2010. Biological, technical,
and social aspects of applying electrified fladry for livestock protection from wolves (Canis lupus). Wildlife Research 37:708-714.
http://www.publish.csiro.au/journlas/wr

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:
Mike Jimenez (Jackson) (307)330-5631 or (307)733-7096 or Mike_Jimenez@FWS.GOV or Scott_Becker@FWS.GOV

Last updated: November 8, 2012