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 WEEKLY- August 31 through September 4, 2009
Web Address – USFWS reports (past weekly and annual reports) can be viewed at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov . Weekly reports for Montana and Idaho are produced by those States and can be viewed on the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and Idaho Department of Fish and Game websites. All weekly and annual reports are government property and can be used for any purpose. Please distribute as you see fit.
The Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery 2008 Annual Report is available at: http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov .
Delisting Litigation Status
A hearing of the preliminary injunction request was held in Federal Court in Missoula, MT on August 31. Oral arguments were heard from the Plaintiffs, a coalition of environmental and animal rights groups, and the Defendants- U.S. Department of Interior, and two interveners- the States of Montana, and Idaho. At the conclusion of the hearing the judge complimented everyone on what he thought was a well-briefed and civil hearing. He said he would issue an order as soon as possible.
Yellowstone Park reports that ground observations of wolf pups in Lamar Valley indicate severe mange in 1 of 4 (pup is mostly hairless) and evidence of mange in several of the adults. Their pups are also half the size of other pack’s same aged pups. Pups from other packs appear in usual numbers and healthy.
IDFG reported as of 9/4/09 only 3 wolves have been reported taken in Idaho by licensed hunters, all during the first day that a few backcountry units were open [8/31/09]. One of those was taken as it harassed a hunters horses that were picketed by his camp [which would have been legal under the 2008 ESA experimental population rules]. He tagged it just so he could keep the pelt. Additional harvest might happen during the long Labor Day weekend.
On 8/31/09, WY Wildlife Services confirmed 8 sheep (8 ewes) killed by wolves in the Big Horn Mountains. Control to remove wolves causing the depredations is ongoing but so far it has been unsuccessful.
On 8/31/09, WY Wildlife Services confined a yearling steer was killed in the Upper Green River drainage, north of Pinedale, WY. The Green River Pack consists of 11 wolves and have killed >3 cattle this summer. The pack has a chronic history of livestock depredation. The USFWS requested Wildlife Services to remove 4 wolves in attempt to reduce additional depredations.
On 8/31/09, WY Wildlife Services confirmed a cow was killed by wolves in the East Fork Pack near Dubois, WY. The pack consists of approx. 8-10 wolves. Control was completed on 9/2/09 when WY WS removed 2 wolves.
Table 1. Confirmed livestock depredations in WY: 1999 - 2009.
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Cattle 2 3 18 23 34 75 54 123 55 41 14
Sheep 0 25 34 0 7 18 27 38 16 26 160
Dogs 6 6 2 0 0 2 1 1 2 0 4
Goats 0 0 0 0 10 0 0 0 0 0 0
Horses 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 0
Wolves 1 2 4 6 18 29 41 44 63 46 20
On 8/31/09, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife authorized removal of two wolves in Baker County after five separate livestock depredation that killed a total of 27 sheep [all lambs], 1 goat, and 1 calf on 2 private ranches since April 10. One wolf was radio-collared in response to earlier depredations. Monitoring indicated that the only wolves involved were just 2 yearling non-breeders that were not associated with a pack. ODFW also issued a permit to one rancher to shoot the 2 wolves if he caught them in the act of attacking more of his livestock. The wolves were previously harassed "multiple times" from the air but these and other non-lethal methods [rancher got extra fencing, buried the carcasses, and a guard dog] of protecting the livestock were unsuccessful.
Law Enforcement and Related Activities
Nothing to report at this time.
Outreach and Education
On 9/1/09, Jimenez spoke at the Grand Teton National Park Resource Symposium for park staff. The meeting took pace at the AMK Ranch research center in the park. Approx. 75 people attended.
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.