Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 12/18/98

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 12/11-12/18, 1998


Packs in the Yellowstone, central Idaho, and NW Montana areas appear to be in their normal home ranges. During the week of the 14th, 2 new pairs were still located just north of Jackson, WY. Volunteers and agency personal are doing a great job of monitoring the wolves. It is looking more and more likely that these potential breeding groups of wolves will stay in the Jackson area. The Soda Butte pack was located back in Yellowstone National Park, just south of Yellowstone Lake. The Crystal Creek pack move into the North Fork of the Shoshone River.



Nothing new to Report.



The 30-day Yellowstone wolf predation rate winter study ended this week. The usual fall predation pattern was evident and at about previous rates (lower than spring rates). Predation focused on calf elk, and most packs made kills every 2-3 days dependent on pack size. Unique observations during the study included wolves killing at least 2 coyotes and the Druid pack killing a Rose Creek wolf.


Information and education and law enforcement

Wolf #41, a 1 1/2 year-old male from the Jureano pack (west of Salmon, ID) was struck and killed by a vehicle just north of Lolo, MT (about 100 miles north). He hadn't been located for about 2 months and was last found with the Jureano pack. He was black in color and his carcass weighted 118 pounds. He was first tagged as a pup in fall 1997. His pelt will be used by Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks for a full-body mount in their Missoula office. The public and agency cooperators reported everything quickly and to proper Service authorities. This was a prefect example of how these types of situations can be thoroughly investigated and quickly resolved. Congratulations on a fine job by Service special agents and the other people that were involved.

There will be a Predator-Prey Symposium in Boise, Idaho on January 5th. It will focus on the potential impact of wolves on prey populations and hunting opportunity in Idaho. It is being co-sponsored by the Idaho Guides and Outfitters Assoc., US Fish and Wildlife Service, Nez Perce Tribe, Defenders of Wildlife, National Elk Foundation, Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game, Wolf Recovery Foundation, Wolf Education and Research Center, Idaho Wildlife Council, and Foundation for North American Wild Sheep. For information on registration contact IOGA, Box 95, Boise, ID 83701, (208)342-1438, Fax 338-7830.


Please help with wolf monitoring efforts by reporting suspected wolf observations. If you are out hunting and see wolf sign please us know! Reclassification, and the resulting increased management flexibility that would result from a threatened status depends upon the number of documented breeding pairs. PLEASE REPORT WOLF SIGHTINGS ASAP. THANKS!!


The Service's weekly wolf report can now be viewed at the Service's Region 6 web site at in addition to the regular distribution.



Contact: Ed Bangs (406)449-5225 x204 or Internet-ED_BANGS@FWS.GOV