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. 15, 2011 through Aug. 26, 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.

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 that have produced >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:

           
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 40 19
Natural 3 0 3 1 2 3 2 2 2
Under Investigation 5 1 5 8 5 8 0 8 1
Unknown 1 0 0 1 2 8 7 4 4
Other 0 6 2 5 3 14 0 4 2
Total 27 36 51 59 75 79 40 58 28

CONTROL
Wyoming:

On 7/17/11, wolves killed an adult cow on a public grazing allotment near Togwotee Pass. Control actions were completed when Wildlife Services radio collared 2 wolves and removed 3 adult wolves.

On 8/13/11, Wyoming Wildlife Services confirm 6 horses injured by wolves on private property south of La Barge, WY. Two to three wolves have been reported in the area. The USFWS issued a Shoot-on-Sight Permit to the owner and requested Wildlife Services to remove the wolves. 

On 8/19/11, Wyoming Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves killed a calf and a yearling cow on a public grazing allotment in the Upper Green river drainage. On 8/20/11, two more calves were killed. Two wolves were removed on 8/21/11 and one wolf was removed on 8/26/11. Control actions are ongoing.

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 26 20
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 40 19

          
* 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 8/15/11, USFWS Director Dan Ashe visited the National Elk Refuge and the Jackson Fish Hatchery. Jimenez also spoke to the group which later hiked to an old wolf den/rendezvous site on the Refuge. On 8/16/11, Jimenez spoke to the Jackson Hole Rotary Club.

On 8/16/11, Scott Becker gave a presentation on Wyoming wolves to guests at the 7D Ranch in Sunlight Basin, Wyoming.

Recently published articles on wolves in the NRM and Europe include:

Stenglein, J. L., L. P. Waitts, D. E. Ausband, P. Zager,and C. M. Mack. 2011. Estimating
            gray wolf pack size and family relationships using noninvasive genetic sampling
            at rendezvous sites. Journal of Mammalogy 92(4):784-795.

Liberg, O., G. Chapron, P. Wabakken, H. C. Pedersen, N. T. Hobbs, H. Sands. 2011.
 Shoot, shovel and shut up: cryptic poaching slows restoration of a large carnivore
in Europe. Proc. R. Soc. B. published online 17 August 2011. Doi:10.1098/rspb.
2011.1275.

Treves, A. and K. A. Martin. 2011. Hunters as stewards of wolves in Wisconsin and the
            Northern Rocky Mountains, USA. BioScience, Vol. 61, No. 8.

Treves, A. and J. T. Bruskotter. 2011. Gray wolf conservation at a crossroads.
 BioScience, Vol. 61, No. 8. 

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
Scott Becker (Cody) (307)527-8916 or (307)699-3411 or Scott_Becker@FWS.GOV

Last updated: November 8, 2012