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 Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 4/06/2007

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 3/30/07 to 4/06/07


NEW WEB ADDRESS- The 2007 annual interagency wolf report [covering all 2006] can be viewed at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov/annualreports.htm . It has maps of wolf pack locations and home ranges, tables of wolf numbers and depredations, discussions of litigation and funding issues, summaries of scientific studies, an extensive bibliography, and additional informational. The 1994 EIS on wolf reintroduction is now posted there too.


On the 5th, Trapp [MFWP] picked up the radio signal of 595F south of Big Timber. 595F is from the Beartooth pack and was last located NW of Clark, WY on March 16th. The distance is approximately 65 miles from her last location. It is unclear if she is traveling alone, or with other wolves. It isn’t unheard of for individuals or groups of wolves to travel widely for a few days just before the denning season. Trapp is hoping to get more information on his next telemetry flight.

It appears that the old radio-collared wolf carcass [probably died in summer/fall 2006] found by a central Idaho hiker along the Sabe Creek and the Salmon River a few weeks ago was B16, one of the original wolves released in central Idaho in 1995. Telonics figured out the old collar’s freq. and serial # and based on Idaho’s records that collar was from wolf B16, a gray subadult female from the Obed Lake pack when captured in Alberta. She became the breeding female (paired with B9) of the Chamberlain Basin pack and would have been just over 13 years old when she died.


MFWP visited with MT WS on the 2nd about the ongoing attempt to capture and radio-collar some wolves near Helmville, MT. On the night of the 22nd a rancher near there watched 3 wolves harass cattle in one of their calving pastures. Two animals came up lame following the incident. MT WS was called to attempt to capture and radio-collar wolves in the area. On the 25th, a neighboring rancher observed wolves run through their cattle. One calf broke its leg and 2 others had injured shoulders, presumably as an indirect result of wolf harassment. MT WS categorized these as 'probable' wolf damage. Trapping efforts have been hindered by cold nighttime temperatures but additional traps may be set as temperatures rise later in the week.

On the 2nd, a calf was reported killed in the Big Hole Valley yesterday W. of Wisdom, MT. MT WS confirmed it as a wolf kill on the 3rd. MFWP authorized WS to remove the wolves, presumably from the uncollared Battlefield pack, although it might have been another uncollared pack in the area. MFWP talked to the landowner about shoot-on-sight (SOS) permits on the 3rd. On the 3rd, a heifer reported killed by wolves on a neighboring ranch. MT WS looked at it and from the air tracks of up to 4 wolves were observed. MFWP authorized MT WS to remove the entire group. MT WS shot 1 wolf from the ground on the evening of the 3rd and another from the ground on the morning of the 4th. One wolf was on the heifer carcass, the other was nearby. Two wolves are believed to remain and landowners on the 3 ranches that have had depredations in the last month hold SOS permits for taking up to 2 wolves. MT WS is also continuing efforts to remove 2 more wolves.

MT WS investigated and confirmed a wolf-killed calf on the 3rd, south of Ennis, MT. A second calf carcass was found on the 4th and was thought to have been killed the same night as the 1st calf. MT WS was authorized to remove one wolf and collar one wolf. A SOS permit was issued to the landowner. Pack affiliation is unknown at this point.


The initial results of the late winter [March 1-30] predation study in Yellowstone National Park indicate a fairly ‘typical’ kill rate and prey selection for this time of year, mainly bulls, old cows, and few calves.

Information and Education and Law Enforcement

On the 4th, Bradley [MFWP] gave a talk at Univ. of Montana to the Society of Conservation Biology student chapter on wolf delisting. About 20 people attended. On the 5th, Liz gave a talk at UM to about 55 students in 'Montana Wildlife' class.

On the 5th, Trapp [MFWP] and reporter Mike Stark from the Billings Gazette met with ranchers along the Absaroka-Beartooth front. Stark is writing an article on how ranchers are utilizing different non-lethal techniques in efforts to minimize wolf-livestock conflicts.

JOB- MN is advertising for a Minnesota DNR wolf biologist. Anyone interested should look at for further information at https://statejobs.doer.state.mn.us/ResumeBuilder.

Additional information from last week’s weekly- The "PREDATOR DEPREDATION IDENTIFICATION and NON-LETHAL CONFLICT REDUCTION WORKSHOP", held in Spokane, WA March 28-29, was also attended by Tribal, Forest Service, and Wildlife Services’ biologists and field agents, including a few agency folks from Oregon. The workshop was sponsored by Defenders of Wildlife, as well as the Spokane, WA USFWS office, WDFW, and WA USDA WS. Defenders announced that they are extending their depredation compensation fund to Washington State. Initial feedback from attendee's was extremely positive. Carter and Rick received high marks from all. The idea of further workshops is being discussed.

The Service's weekly wolf report can be viewed at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov/ . This report is government public property and can be used for any purpose. Please distribute as you see fit.

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

Contact Us:  WesternGrayWolf@fws.gov

Service Links:

Western Gray Wolf Home Page Mountain-Prairie Region Home Page

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