Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report

Week of February 1 - February 7, 2003

Monitoring

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 scientific studies.

On the 3rd, MT FW&P collared a gray pup #299, from the Taylor Peak pack while capturing elk for the cooperative MSU study on elk/wolf relationships. There were 6 gray wolves in the pack. Good job! The MT FW&P biologists were primarily collaring elk as part of their cooperative wolf/elk relationships study. Chief Joe pack was seen the next day but couldn't be darted.

On the 5th, an uncollared wolf pup [now 10 months old] was killed by a vehicle on Highway 12 near Avon. It was likely a member of Castle Rock or Halfway packs.

WS reported a pair of wolf tracks near Clark Canyon Reservoir SE of Dillon, MT. They pulled M-44's in the immediate area. This is the same area where wolves killed a calf last fall.

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 cooperation.

Livestock Depredations & Management (control)

On the 3rd, Wildlife Services killed 3 members [2 gray and a black subadult] of the Halfway pack. Two other wolves were seen and they will be removed as weather permits. The Castle Rock pack moved south of the highway and were not in a suitable location for removal. On the morning of the 6th, 3 uncollared members, all gray, including the suspected alpha male, of the Castle Rock pack were shot. That afternoon WS killed dispersing Castle Rock - but now Halfway pack - wolf #979 and #342. Control is finished, unless more depredations are confirmed. The Halfway pack is gone and 3-4 wolves remain in the Castle Rock pack.

Research

Tom Meier et al. are working on compiling and summarizing data for the 2002 annual interagency wolf report.

Dr. Dennis Murray, University of Idaho, was in Yellowstone National Park this week working with Doug Smith on analysis of radio-telemetry survival and mortality data from 403 wolves that were radio-collared and monitored in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming since the early 1980's. The multi-co-author paper will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal.

Information, Education & Law Enforcement

Doug Smith traveled to Salt Lake City to give a presentation to the Conservation Alliance's annual meeting [includes many large outdoor recreation businesses]. About 100 people attended the meeting.

Meier provided an update on wolf recovery to approximately 50 people at the North Fork Interlocal Agreement winter meeting on February 4.

Fontaine and Bart Smith [WS] spoke to two dozen Rock Creek grazing permittees from the Phillipsburg, MT area on the night of the 5th. There is a new pack of 3 wolves, Willow Pack, using that area and another pack near Skalkaho Pass, Sapphire Pack.

On the 5th, Bangs participated in a conference call with the states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming and Kathy Hollar, the Service's delisting coordinator in Region 1. The status of the reclassification package, state wolf management plans, and future cooperation in preparing the delisting proposal were discussed.

On the 5th, Jimenez spoke to a group of 20 tourists, neighbors and friends of a rancher who owns a ranch adjacent to the WY G&F feed ground near Pinedale, WY. They met at the Flagg Ranch in Jackson, WY and were mainly just interested in the latest wolf update.

On the 6th, Bangs was on a conference call with the Elko Nevada County Commission. They are drafting a resolution stating that Elko County residents do not want wolves reintroduced in their county.

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 https://keysecure.com/forwolves.org/confer2003.html.

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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