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- Feb 22 through March 5, 2010
Web Address – USFWS reports (past weekly and annual reports) can be viewed at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov .
Weekly reports for Montana can be viewed on the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks website http://fwp.mt.gov/wildthings/management/wolf/default.html
Wolf information for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game website can be viewed at: (http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/wolves).
All weekly and annual reports are government property and can be used for any purpose. Please distribute as you see fit.
Montana and Idaho are working with the USFWS to complete the 2009 Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery Annual Report which should be available by next week at: http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov .
Oral arguments were heard in federal court in Cheyenne, WY on January 29 to address the state of Wyoming’s request that the USFWS accept the Wyoming Wolf Management Plan. A decision from Judge Allen Johnson is pending.
A hearing on the preliminary injunction request was held in Federal Court in Missoula, MT on August 31. Oral arguments were heard from the plaintiffs, U.S. Department of Interior, Montana, and Idaho. On September 8, the Federal Court denied the preliminary injunction motion filed by Defenders of Wildlife and others to stop the 2009 regulated gray wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana. However, in issuing his order, the judge indicated that his preliminary review of the overall delisting case raised questions about Service’s approach of conferring ESA protections to a “significant portion of the range” of a species, as opposed to designating the entire species as a threatened or endangered species. A hearing date for oral arguments has not been set, but is expected to be soon after legal briefs are completed in late January 2010.
On 3/3/10, WY Wildlife Services trapped and radio collared an adult female from west of Cody, WY.
On 3/5/10, 2 wolves (1 male yearling and 1 female pup) were captured by Quick Silver Air during elk capture/collaring efforts for the University of Wyoming Absaroka Elk project.
Capture operations in YNP will continue into March. The primary objective will be the Gibbon Meadows Pack, which the largest pack in the park and has only one radio-collared wolf.
After forming in 1996 and persisting for 14 years, the Druid Peak Pack is probably gone. The pack is now down to one wolf that will probably not survive the winter as it is very thin and has mange. At the end of 2009, the pack consisted of 11 wolves, but since that time several wolves have died and the long-time alpha male dispersed with a non-functioning radio collar. The alpha female was killed by other wolves last fall. Already another pack, the Silver Pack, has moved into historic Druid territory in Lamar Valley. Another trio of wolves has formed at the west end of their old territory. The loss of the Druid Peak Pack correlates with a decline in wolf numbers across the northern range in Yellowstone. At the end of 2007 there were 94 wolves on the northern range; however, in 2010, there are approximately 33 wolves.
Nothing to report at this time.
On 3/1/10, the annual 30-day March winter study for the Yellowstone Wolf
Project began. Study objectives are wolf kill rate and prey selection, late winter population count, observation of wolf behavior, and analysis of wolf activity and movement patterns.
Law Enforcement and Related Activities
Nothing to report at this time.
Outreach and Education
Jimenez spoke to local residents in Buffalo Valley to address concerns about wolves repeatedly seen in the area. Approximately 25 people attended.
On 3/3/10, Jimenez met with WY Wildlife Services’ state director and district supervisors in Lander, WY to discuss wolf management issues for 2010.
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.