Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report
Week of January 18 - January 24, 2003
NEW WEB ADDRESS - See westerngraywolf.fws.gov/
for maps of wolf pack locations and home ranges, tables of wolf numbers and depredations, and summaries of
Wildlife Services net-gunned and radio-collared a black adult female near Red Lodge on the 23rd. She was
with two smaller gray wolves and near livestock. She and one of the others had mange over 2/3rds of their
tails. This pack was involved in livestock depredations in 2002 and if involved in other depredations will
probably be lethally removed. Wildlife Services removed snares with stops that had been set earlier to
radio-collar a pack member. A big Thanks! and Well Done! to Wildlife Services.
The two collared Teton pack wolves that were part of a split-off Teton group of 6 near Pinedale [2 without
collars were shot because of depredations], WY were located back in the Gros Ventre Valley on the 22nd. Elk
feeding has not begun yet but there are thousands of elk in the area waiting for hay and the rest of the
Teton pack is there too. It appears their little walkabout is over for now.
Winter wolf helicopter capture efforts to radio-collar wolves were conducted in central Idaho. Four wolves
were collared under very difficult conditions. Three were re-captures and 1 was a new animal. Pack sizes
were small and few if any pups were seen. Scott Mountain was seen with 3 wolves, Orphan had 3, Thunder
Mountain had 3, and Gold Fork had 5. Capture operations have moved to the Challis. With 6 collars on
mortality in Idaho this fall and several other collars missing it appears that illegal killing could be
involved in recent pack disruptions and small pack sizes. Extra wolf monitoring in Idaho is being conducted
to try to figure this out.
Please report any sightings of wolf activity to the nearest U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state Fish and
Game Agency, Forest Service, BLM, Tribal, or USDA Wildlife Services office. We thank everyone for their
Livestock Depredations & Management (control)
Fontaine and Asher met with landowners in the Paradise Valley where sheep had been killed by members of
the Mill Creek pack. The landowner whose sheep were killed still has a shoot on sight permit. Asher removed
fladry from the fence on the 11th, and the sheep are being night-pastured in smaller enclosure. Defenders
is working with the landowner to provide more secure fencing. On the 17th, Wildlife Services trapped and
radio-collared a yearling female wolf from the subgroup and it is now being tracked to see how many wolves
are in the group. Good job Wildlife Services and thanks! The alpha female was the only radioed member of
the Mill Creek pack and she was consistently located high the in mountains.
Tom Meier et al. are working on compiling and summarizing data for the 2002 annual interagency wolf report.
Bangs and Meier completed short articles for International Wolf Magazine on wolf delisting and Tom's
"personal" wolf encounter, respectively. They should appear in the May 2003 issue.
Jimenez provided rubber bullet training and munitions to a landowner near Lander, WY who sighted wolves
near his property. The landowner was pleased that he could do something if they came back. Four wolves
have been reported in that area and Wildlife Services is attempting to neck snare with stops to radio-
collar a member of the group.
Information, Education & Law Enforcement
Jimenez participated in a hour long radio talk show [KOVE] out of Lander this week.
Bangs [by phone after his flight was canceled], Niemeyer and Regional office staff from Portland and
Denver participated in an internal Service meeting in Boise, ID the 21st and 22nd, about coordination
during development of the wolf delisting proposal this spring.
Bangs will introduce 2 wolf movies for the International Film Festival organization at the Roxy Theater
in Missoula on the evening of the 24th. The NWF's "Wolf" and the Wildlife Alliances' "Cost
of Freedom" will be shown. Bangs will give a short presentation and then answer questions.
Niemeyer will attend a Jan 25th meeting in Lewistown, ID on the Clearwater Elk Herd "Summit." The
elk herd has been declining sharply for several years and many agency experts [Forest Service, ID Fish and
Game, University] are participating in the day-long conference hosted by ID Senator Crapo looking at
potential causes and solutions.
National Geographic Explorer and CNN both aired recent footage of wolf captures in Yellowstone and
discussed achieving the wolf recovery goal for the northern Rocky Mountain wolf population and impending
delisting. Several news and radio stories have also aired. The NGE website is also supposedly carrying a
similar story online.
The CENTRAL ROCKIES WOLF PROJECT is pleased to announce that registration has begun for the WORLD WOLF
CONGRESS 2003 - BRIDGING SCIENCE AND COMMUNITY, to be held at the Banff Centre (Banff, Canada) from
September 25-28, 2003. Please visit www.worldwolfcongress.ca
for complete information.
Call for papers: Papers are now being accepted for the 2003 North American Interagency Wolf Conference,
April 8 - 10, 2003 at Chico Hot Springs, Pray, MT. The theme this year is wolf/ungulate relationships.
Please submit a one page single spaced abstract which includes your full contact information, affiliations,
and authors, by email to Joseph Fontaine at Joseph_Fontaine@fws.gov.
Please submit a digital picture related to your research or topic to include in the agenda and on the
website. We can also scan images sent by mail. Registration for the conference will begin November 1, 2002
and you may contact Suzanne Laverty at SLaverty@defenders.org
for details. The registration secure website is
The weekly wolf report can now be viewed at the Service's Region 6 web site at
www.r6.fws.gov/wolf. 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 or Internet - ED_BANGS@FWS.GOV
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