Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report
Week of Jan 1 - Jan 6, 1997
Wolves in the Yellowstone area are pretty much where they have been. The packs in the northern part of the
Park are still there. The Thoroughfare pair are still in that drainage and the Soda Butte pack is still by
Heart lake. The pair that was last located near Togwotee Pass in early November was located at the junction
of Bear Creek and the E. Fork of the Wind River east of Dubios, WY. Female #27 moved south back into the
mountains by Nye, so her capture has been postponed until she moves into more open country. Wolf #39 was
not located. The penned wolves will be moved in February.
A suspected wild wolf or possibly captive wolf or wolf/dog hybrid east of Dubios,WY has been seen by a
local rancher every day (except 4) since November 26. The area is full of wintering deer and elk. The
animal is believed to be a young uncollared female. It has killed at least three deer and has not caused
any problems with livestock. It is very leery of people, unless the people are in the house or in a vehicle.
Basically it acts like a wild wolf, other than having such regular and restricted movements. Photos have
been taken and both Bangs and Niemeyer and others agree it looks just like a wolf. It is unknown at this
time if it could be a wild dispersing wolf or if it could be of captive origin. It has also been seen from
a nearby county road and there is some fear that it may be illegally killed if not moved from the area. No
decision has been made whether it should be captured or moved but for the meantime it will be left in the
area but with the situation closely monitored. It is very interesting to note that the pair (1 gray, 1 black)
that were near Togwotee Pass in early November and could not be located until this past week were located
in that area. It is probably not by chance that the radioed pair are in the exact location. Monitoring on
them is also being intensified.
Weather finally cleared in Idaho and radio-tracking flights are being conductedat this time. Twenty-seven
wolves have active radio-collars. Locations will be reported in the next weekly.
Livestock Depredations & Management (control)
On the night of January 1 or early morning on the 2nd, at least 3 wolves from the Boulder Pack (a pack of
non-experimental wolves SW of Helena, MT) killed 7 yearling cattle NE of Deer Lodge, MT. Unfortunately,
the 3 wolves that had been radio-collared in 1995 were illegally killed or disappeared and no other pack
members were radio-collared. Local ranchers reported they had seen 9-10 wolves during the summer. On the
3rd, the pack had returned and fed on one of the dead yearling cattle. ADC located a pack of 9 gray-colored
wolves about 2-3 miles from the cattle. ADC and the Service agreed that if 3 wolves were at the livestock
carcasses they all would be shot and if there were more wolves present that no more than half the pack
should be shot. ADC tried to shoot the packleaders and biggest wolves hoping to kill the adults that
probably attacked the cattle. Necropsy on the 4 that were shot (3 M and 1 F) from fixed-wing aircraft
indicated they were not adults. The wolves were killed because 1) The severity of the depredation require
an immediate and firm response. 2) The control plan allows for lethal control when more than 5 packs are
in a recovery area. 3) This pack depredated in 1995 4) The pack would be difficult to locate quickly
without collars 5) No helicopters were available that day 6) There are no agreed upon relocation sites in
NW Montana. Attempts will be made to obtain permission from the landowners to radio-collar remaining pack
members. If more depredations occur more wolves may be killed or moved.
Nothing new to report.
Information, Education & Law Enforcement
Nothing new to report.
The weekly wolf report can now be viewed at the Service's Region 6 web site at
Contact: Ed Bangs (406)449-5225 or Internet - ED_BANGS@FWS.GOV
Trips & Events |
Site Map |
Site owned by ©1998-2002 Wolf Recovery Foundation.
Site Design and Graphics by ©1997-2002 Wolff Den Design All Rights Reserved.
No part of this site or any material within this site may be
used without the expressed written permission from the author.