Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report

Week of Feb 10 - Feb 18, 1997

Monitoring

Wolves in the Yellowstone area are pretty much where they have been. The yearling female from the Chief Joseph pack is travelling alone. The male from the Chief Joseph pair attracted two yearling females out of the Druid pack and those three are now in the west end of the Lamar Valley. The twelve wolves (2 yearlings and 10 pups from the Sawtooth pack) were moved to their new pen (NezPerce pen east of West Yellowstone). The Nye female #27 was also placed in that pen. The plan is to release about 10 wolves in early April, when carrion is most abundant. The Nye female and the remaining couple of wolves will be released in early June in the southern part of the Park. Female #39 was last seen with another gray wolf (suspected to be one of #27, the Nye female's, pups) near the Crazy Mountains north of Livingston, Montana. The Park will begin a program of monitoring radio-collared wolves from the air about every 10-14 days.

In central Idaho, north of the Salmon River there appear to be 3 potential breeding pairs, including 2 pups from 1996, and three lone wolves. South of the Salmon River there are up to 22 wolves and as many as 9 potential breeding pairs. There are up to 5 wolves that are believed to no longer have functioning radio-collars. This complicates determining whether those wolves that are seen but do have active radio signals are naturally dispersing wolves or simply reintroduced wolves that have nonfunctioning radios.

The pair of wolves from the Big Hole drainage that were temporarily held in the Park were moved to an enclosure in central Idaho. Plans were to release the pair after they had pups. The male got out of the pen somehow but is still in the area and apparently will not leave the female. They both are being fed and monitored.

The Service plans to hire 4 seasonal field biologists this summer for 6 months beginning April 1. They will locate, capture, and radio-collar wolves throughout the northern Rocky Mountains but will be focused on NW Montana. Interested persons should send their name and address to USFWS, 100 N. Park,Suite 320, Helena, MT or FAX (406)449-5339. Once the jobs are advertised everyone will be notified and SF-171's will be solicited.

Livestock Depredations & Management (control)

The cooperative agreement between ADC and the Service for wolf recovery activities has been completed and should be signed soon. A dead wolf was reportedly found by a snowmobiler near where a control action on the Boulder Pack (4 shot) took place in early January. It is possible that another wolf was wounded and was not recovered with the others. A ground search of the area failed to find a carcass.

Research

Mike Jimenez reports that there are 10 members in the Ninemile Pack. Several individuals in the pack occasionally travel up toward Thompson River. He believes that the pack is doing very well (killing 3-4 deer a week) because the severe winter has made deer very vulnerable to predation.

Information, Education & Law Enforcement

Bangs gave a wolf presentation to about 50 volunteers at the Denver Zoo on the 7th. Bangs' month-long work detail in Denver is over and he is now back doing wolf stuff in Helena. A multi-agency authored abstract was submitted for The Wildlife Society Annual Meeting in Snowmass, Colorado in September 1997.

The annual wolf working group meeting is scheduled for April 9 and 10 at Chico Hot Springs, MT. A 2-day Wolf Field Techniques Workshop will be held April 7 and 8. Contact Suzanne Laverty, at the Wolf Education and Research Center, for details (208)343-2248.

Bangs was invited to attend a meeting on the Olympic Peninsula, WA in mid-April to begin discussions of the potential for wolf reintroduction to Olympic National Park.

The weekly wolf report can now be viewed at the Service's Region 6 web site at www.r6.fws.gov/wolf.

Contact: Ed Bangs (406)449-5225 or Internet - ED_BANGS@FWS.GOV






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