Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) Monthly Project Updates
Latest MWEPA Monthly Project Update
Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update April 1-30, 2015
The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), and New Mexico. Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf. Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically by visiting http://www.azgfd.gov/signup. This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose. The Reintroduction Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).
To view weekly wolf telemetry flight location information or the 3-month wolf distribution map, please visit http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf. On the home page, go to the “Wolf Location Information” heading on the right side of the page near the top and scroll to the specific location information you seek. Please report any wolf sightings or suspected livestock depredations to: (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653. To report incidents of take or harassment of wolves, please call the AGFD 24-hour dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at (800) 352-0700.
Numbering System: Mexican wolves are given an identification number recorded in an official studbook that tracks their history. Capital letters (M = Male, F = Female) preceding the number indicate adult animals 24 months or older. Lower case letters (m = male, f = female) indicate wolves younger than 24 months or pups. The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate breeding wolves.
Definitions: A “wolf pack” is defined as two or more wolves that maintain an established territory. In the event that one of the two alpha (dominant) wolves dies, the remaining alpha wolf, regardless of pack size, retains the pack status. The packs referenced in this update contain at least one wolf with a radio telemetry collar attached to it. The Interagency Field Team (IFT) recognizes that wolves without radio telemetry collars may also form packs. If the IFT confirms that wolves are associating with each other and are resident within the same home range, they will be referenced as a pack.
CURRENT POPULATION STATUS At the end of April 2015 the wild Mexican Wolf population consisted of 45 wolves with functional radio collars dispersed among 20 packs and three single wolves. IN ARIZONA:
Bluestem Pack (collared AF1042, m1331, f1333, and mp1382) In April, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the central portion of the ASNF. Wolf F1339 and M1394 have been located together for three consecutive months and will now be referred to as the Panther Creek Pack. Wolf f1340 remained separated from the Bluestem Pack for the month of April. The IFT has documented f1340 traveling with a collared wolf with a non-functional radio collar. The IFT has also documented denning behavior for f1340 during this month. Wolf m1331 has been located separate from the Bluestem Pack during the month. The IFT has documented denning behavior from AF1042 during the month of April. F1333 and m1382 have remained with AF1042 throughout April.
Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294 and M1342) In April, AF1294 and M1342 were located within their traditional territory in the northeast portion of the ASNF in Arizona. The IFT has documented denning behavior by the Elk Horn Pack this month.
Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038, AF1280 and m1383) In April, the Hawks Nest Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. On April 23, the IFT observed 5 wolves travelling together in the Hawks Nest Pack. Hoodoo Pack (collared M1290) In April, M1290 was in the area northwest of Noble Mountain and west of Nutrioso in Arizona.
Marble Pack (F1340) F1340 has been located separate from the Bluestem Pack for Three consecutive months and has been documented traveling with male wolf with a non-function radio collar in the northwest-central portion of the APSN. F1340 has been documented showing denning behavior during this month. Maverick Pack (collared AM1183, AF1291, and F1335) During April, the Maverick Pack traveled within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and ASNF. Wolf F1335 has been located separate from the Maverick Pack in April and has continued to travel with M1338 in the southern portion of the ASNF.
Panther Creek Pack (collared F1339 and M1394) F1339 and M1394 have been located together for three consecutive months and will now be referred to as the Panther Creek Pack.
Rim Pack (collared M1130 and AF1305) On April 22, the Rim Pack was released back into their territory on Fish Bench. The Pack was together for 9 days and then split apart. Af1305 has continued to stay within the traditional Rim Pack Territory while M1130 has wondered between Mt. Baldy and the Black River.
Single M1161 (Collared) In April, M1161 was located on the SCAR. ON THE FAIR: Tsay o Ah Pack (collared M1343 and AF1283) During April, the Tsay o Ah Pack was located on the FAIR.
Tse ighan lige Pack (collared AM1249) M1249 has not been located for three months. This is probably due to a malfunctioning radio collar. M1249 is now considered fate unknown.
IN NEW MEXICO:
Coronado Pack (collared AM1051) In April, the IFT located AM1051 in south-central portions of the Gila Wilderness.
Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992, AF923, M1293, m1354 and m1347) Throughout April, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west-central portion of the GNF. The IFT documented denning behavior in this pack during the month.
Fox Mountain Pack (collared m1396) In April the IFT documented the Fox Mountain Pack within their traditional territory in the northwest portion of the GNF. Currently the only functioning collar in the Fox Mountain Pack is on m1396.
Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240 and AF1278) In April, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the Gila National Forest.
Lava Pack (collared M1285 and F1295) Throughout April, M1285 and F1295 were located together traveling in the northwest portion of the Gila Wilderness.
Luna Pack (collared AM1155, AF1115, and m1398) In April, AM1155 and AF1115 of the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF.
Mangas Pack (collared M1296) In April, M1296 traveled within the northern portion of the GNF in New Mexico and east of the Gila National Forest boundary.
Prieto Pack (collared AM1387, AF1251, m1386 and f1392) In April, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF. The IFT has documented denning behavior in the Prieto Pack during April. San Mateo Pack (collared AF903 and M1345) During April, the IFT located AF903 traveling with M1345 within the traditional San Mateo Pack territory.
Willow Springs Pack (collared AM1185 and f1390) Throughout April, the IFT located the Willow Springs Pack in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. AF1279 and m1385 have been missing for three consecutive months and are now considered fate unknown. M1284 (collared) Throughout April, M1284 was located traveling the northern-central portion of the GNF.
M1338 (collared) Throughout April, M1338 was located traveling in the central portion of the ASNF with F1335 from the Maverick Pack.
mp1350 (collared) Throughout April, mp1350 has been located in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF in New Mexico.
No significant activity to report. INCIDENTS
During April there were 9 livestock depredation reports involving wolves and one nuisance report.
On April 4, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Snow Canyon in Arizona. The investigation determined that the cow had been killed by wolves. On April 6, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow near Centerfire Creek in New Mexico. The investigation determined the cow was killed by wolves.
On April 6, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow on private land in New Mexico. The investigation determined the cow had been killed a wolf.
On April 6, Wildlife Services investigated a nuisance incident on the Blue River in Arizona where it was reported that wolves had scared horses through a fence. The investigation revealed no sign of wolf tracks in the area and it was unknown what caused the horses to run through the fence.
On April 10, Wildlife Services investigated a report of a dead cow in the Cibola National forest in New Mexico. The cow was determined to have died of unknown causes.
On April 11, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow near Govina New Mexico. The investigation determined the cow had been killed by wolves.
On April 20, Wildlife Services investigated an injured calf near Strayhorse in Arizona. The investigation determined the injuries were caused by a wolf. The calf later died from its injuries and the depredation was assigned to uncollared wolves.
On April 20, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow near Centerfire Creek in New Mexico. The investigation confirmed the cow had been killed by a wolf.
On April 22, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow near Govina New Mexico. The investigation confirmed the cow had been killed by a wolf.
On April 27, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in near Cerro Montoso in Arizona. The investigation determined the calf was killed by coyotes.
COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION
On April 18, a member of the IFT gave a presentation on wolf biology and handling to 131 kids for the 2015 Junior Turkey camp in Arizona.
On April 25 and 26, a field day presentation in the MWEPA was given to a group of 8 girl scouts.
PROJECT PERSONNEL In April, Hannah Manninen, and Shane Brown started their internship with the USFWS. Thanks for your help!
The USFWS is offering a reward of up to $10,000; the AGFD Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000; and the NMDGF is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of Mexican wolves. A variety of non-governmental organizations and private individuals have pledged an additional $46,000 for a total reward amount of up to $58,000, depending on the information provided.
Individuals with information they believe may be helpful are urged to call one of the following agencies: USFWS special agents in Mesa, Arizona, at (480) 967-7900, in Alpine, Arizona, at (928) 339-4232, or in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at (505) 346-7828; the WMAT at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; AGFD Operation Game Thief at (800) 352-0700; or NMDGF Operation Game Thief at (800) 432-4263. Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act and can result in criminal penalties of up to $50,000, and/or not more than one year in jail, and/or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.