Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report

Week of Feb 18 - Feb 24, 1997

Monitoring

Yellowstone conducted telemetry flights on the 17th and 18th: all wolves were located, except #39, in expected areas. On the 19th, #39 (female that had been in the Crazy Mountains north of the Park) was back in the Lamar Valley. She was alone. To their knowledge this is the first time she has been inside the Park during the past few months.

The 13 wolves that were recently transferred to the Nez Perce pen are doing well.

No new information for Idaho. This is the peak of wolf breeding season and there are about 10 potential breeding pairs in Idaho this winter.

The Service plans to hire 4 seasonal field biologists this summer for 6 months beginning in April. 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)

A wolf-like canid apparently killed 5-8 sheep near Big Timber, Wyoming (SW of Lander, WY) last week. On Friday the rancher roped (yes- roped!) it from a snowmachine and put it in his horse trailer. The Service picked it up, had a veterinarian treat its cuts, and held it over the weekend. It is a young 75 lb. female in estrus, looks like a wolf, and is in good health. It is apparently unmarked and there a several possible sources for this animal. It could be a released captive wolf, a long-range disperser from NW Montana, or undocumented offspring of the Yellowstone or Idaho reintroduced wolves. This animal has also stimulated renewed speculation about the "native Wyoming wolf" (a theory that wolves never were exterminated from Wyoming). On the 24th, it was transferred to Yellowstone National Park and will be placed in the Rose Creek pen for observation. Blood samples were taken and analysis will be done from a DNA standpoint but it is quite possible that its origin may never be known. If it appears to be a wild wolf it will be radio-collared, released, and monitored. The only sure fire test may be to monitor its behavior in the wild. Wild wolves usually make it, release captive wolves don't.

Research

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 www.r6.fws.gov/wolf.

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






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