Idaho Wolf Update
February 12, 1999

Gray wolves identified in these updates are referenced as B-XX-Y. The B identifies the wolf as a central Idaho animal, numbers identify individuals and the Y indicates male (M) or female (F).

Monitoring

North of the Salmon River

Panhandle, Clearwater, and Lolo National Forests

The Snow Peak pack including alpha wolves B-20-F and B-31-M and their 5 pups remain in the upper St. Joe and North Fork drainages. Alpha male wolf B-31 has not been located since November. His radio collar has been malfunctioning for over a year and is suspected to have failed.

The Kelly Creek pack including alpha wolves B-15-F and 9013-M continues to use the upper Kelly Creek drainage and surrounding country along the Bitterroot divide north of Lolo Pass. This pack remains loosely associated with individual and small groups of wolves fragmenting across large areas of their home range. Pack members have spent much of their time in winter range along the Cache and Fish Creek drainages.

The Big Hole pack including alpha wolves B-11-F and B-07-M and their 5 pups continues to frequent habitats on the Bitterroot divide just south of Lolo Pass on the Lolo and Clearwater National Forests.

Lone wolf B-51-F has not been located for the past several monitoring flights due to persistent bad weather. She was last located in the Big Sand Creek drainage near Elk Summit on the Clearwater National Forest.

Lone wolf B-52-M has not been located for the past several monitoring flights due to persistent bad weather. He was most recently located in the Fog Mountain Saddle area north of the Selway River, about 15 air miles south of his relocation site.

Lone wolf B-54-F has not been located since she was relocated to the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness late this summer.

Nez Perce National Forest

The Selway pack has only been sporadically located this winter because of inclement weather. These wolves were last located within their usual home range just east of Salmon Mountain along the divide between the Selway and Salmon Rivers.

South of the Salmon River

Payette National Forest

The Chamberlain Basin pack including alpha wolves B-09-M and B-16-F have most recently been located within the Big Creek drainage, tributary to the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.

The Thunder Mountain pack including alpha female wolf B-22-F, her mate of unknown origin, and their 5-6 pups have most recently been traveling within the Marble Creek drainage, tributary to the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.

Boise National Forest

Wolf B-33-M continues to move widely. During October and November, he spent time in the Middle Fork of the Salmon. During January, he was observed twice with one other wolf and concentrated his movements around the north end of Bear Valley. He was last located just east of Landmark, Idaho.

Female wolf B-30, of the Bear Valley pair, is suspected to have died this fall. Her collar went on mortality mode in December. Efforts to retrieve her collar have not been successful due to inaccessible and rugged terrain, and poor weather conditions. Her mate, male wolf B-28 has since traveled east and was most recently located just north of Stanley, Idaho within the Stanley Basin pack's territory.

Salmon-Challis National Forest

Wolf B-19-M was found dead along the upper Loon Creek drainage in early January. Evidence indicated that he was killed during inter-pack aggression with the Twin Peaks pack. The whereabouts and fate of his un-collared mate is unknown.

The Jureano Mountain pack including alpha wolves B-25-F and B-32-M continue to travel through much of their established home range. Two subadults dispersed from this pack this fall. Yearling male wolf B-41 traveled north and was hit and killed by a vehicle along U.S. Highway 12 near Lolo, MT. His sibling, yearling female wolf B-45, has been missing since last fall.

The Moyer Basin pack including alpha pair B-29-M and B-37-F continues to use areas surrounding the upper Panther Creek drainage including the Moyer Basin area, upper Silver and Morgan Creek drainages, and Camas Creek.

The Twin Peaks pack including alpha wolves B-35-F and B-18-M have spent most of the winter in winter range of the upper Loon Creek and Warm Springs Creek drainages.

Sawtooth National Forest

The Stanley Basin pack including wolf pair B-23-F and B-27-M continues to move throughout the Stanley Basin. This pack continues to be loosely associated through the winter months. Members of this pack travel along winter range of the main Salmon River from the mouth of the Yankee Fork of the Salmon River, north of Stanley, Idaho, to Champion Creek near the town on Obsidian, Idaho.

The White Cloud pack including alpha female wolf B-36-F have concentrated their winter movements within winter range along the East Fork of the Salmon River. This pack was implicated in livestock depredations on private land during February (see Control).

Research

The Nez Perce Tribe, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Lemhi County, Hornocker Wildlife Institute, University of Idaho and other contributors including the U.S. Forest Service, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Wolf Education and Research Center, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation are cooperating on two winter studies to assess interactions between wolves and mountain lions and predation on wintering ungulates.

Outreach

Program personnel held fall outreach meetings with livestock producers in Salmon and May Idaho. Program personnel presented at the Lemhi County and Idaho State Cattle Association, and Idaho State Outfitters and Guides annual meetings. Program personnel attended and participated in Idaho State Legislative Wolf Oversight Committee meeting, and Idaho Gray Wolf Recovery coordination meetings. Program personnel provided an update on the status of wolves in Idaho to a joint Idaho Legislative House and Senate Natural Resources Committee meeting. Program personnel provided special presentations for the Defenders of Wildlife and National Wildlife Federation. Program personnel presented at the Clearwater Flycasters monthly meeting.

Control

In early February, the White Cloud pack was suspected of depredating on new born calves on private property along the East Fork of the Salmon River. This pack has spent most of the winter months along prime winter range of the East Fork along with large numbers of elk and deer. The White Cloud pack established their territory in 1998, and is composed of the alpha breeding pair and up to 9 pups. In hopes of discouraging future depredations, two male pups were darted from a helicopter and fitted with radio collars, during a cooperative effort between the Nez Perce Tribe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife Services, and Lemhi county. Both pups were released on site. Managers hope that the disturbance to the pack from the capture effort will encourage the pack to move away from calving grounds. The additional collars will also aid the Tribe to monitor the movements of these wolves through the winter calving season.








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