Idaho Wolf Update
April 1, 2001

Monitoring

North of the Salmon River

Panhandle, Clearwater, and Lolo National Forests

Marble Mountain. The Marble Mountain pack continues to use areas within its home range. This pack was last located in the Marble Creek drainage.

Kelly Creek. Wolf 90-13 continues to use the western portion of their territory, as he has for most of the winter. B42 and B79 were located in the Kelly Creek drainage, east of wolf 90-13.

Big Hole. The Bighole pack was most recently located within the Lolo Creek drainage of Montana. Wolf B67 has not been located for several months.

Lone/Paired Wolves. B64 (a relocated 3 year-old male White Cloud wolf) and B81(a relocated 2 year-old male Jureano Mountain wolf) were located together in the Fish Creek drainage in Montana. These two wolves have been located in the same general area for most of the winter, however, this is the first time they have been located together. Wolf B64 was spotted with another uncollared wolf in February. Field crews will monitor these wolves closely this summer to determine their reproductive status.

Nez Perce National Forest

Selway. The Selway pack continues to use areas within their usual home range. This pack was last located, in the Bargamin Creek drainage of the Main Salmon River.

South of the Salmon River

Payette National Forest

Chamberlain Basin. The Chamberlain Basin pack continues to move back and forth between the main Salmon River and Big Creek, both ungulate winter range areas. This pack was most recently located along the breaks of the main Salmon River. Researchers working with Jim and Holly Akensen on the winter predation study in Big Creek obtained a close up visual of 12 chamberlain basin wolves.

Wolf Fang. The Wolf Fang pack is using the lower reaches of the South Fork of the Salmon and also spending time in the headwaters of Big Creek. This pack was most recently located within the upper reaches of the Big Creek drainage.

Thunder Mountain. The Thunder Mountain pack has remained in the South Fork of the Salmon for the majority of the winter. This pack was most recently located in the Buckhorn drainage along South Fork of the Salmon River.

Lone/Paired Wolves. B45 continues to use areas within her usual range just north of McCall, Idaho. She was most recently located north of Burgdorf Hotsprings.

B50 continues to concentrate her movements along the north side of the main Salmon River breaks, around the confluence of the South Fork of the Salmon River.

Boise National Forest

Orphan. The Orphan pack was most recently located in the upper South Fork of the Salmon River drainage.

Lone/Paired Wolves. B78, a 3 year-old female Kelly Creek pack dispersing wolf, continues to be located in the drainage of the Middle Fork of the Payette River drainage. We suspect B78 is traveling with another wolf.

Salmon-Challis National Forest

Landmark. The Landmark pack continues to use wintering areas in the Middle Fork of the Salmon River drainage.

Jureano Mountain. The Jureano Mountain pack remains within their usual home range.

Moyer Basin. The Moyer Basin Pack continues to use traditional areas of their home range. Recently B97 has been located alone within and adjacent to the Moyer pack's territory. B97 is a male Stanley Basin pack dispersing wolf who was initially loosely associated with the Jureano Mountain pack, then left the Jureano pack and traveled with the Moyer pack until just recently.

Whitehawk. The Whitehawk pack continues to travel widely between the upper main Salmon River and the East Fork of the Salmon River. B102, a recently collared male wolf was legally shot while depredating on cattle in the East Fork of the Salmon River drainage (see Management and Control). This pack was most recently locasted in the East Fork of the Salmon River drainage.

Wildhorse. The Wildhorse pack continues to use areas within their usual home range in the Copper Basin area.

Stanley Basin. The Stanley Basin pack continues to move extensively in fragmented groups. Alpha female B23 was lethally controlled when she depredated on cattle in the Big Lost River drainage (see Management and Control). She was traveling alone at the time of the depredation.

The mortality signal from missing alpha male wolf B27's collar was located on a recent monitoring flight. Project personnel recovered the carcass; confirming the mortality. The incident is under investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

B95 and recently collared wolf B105 were last located in the Thompson Creek drainage of the main Salmon River. Wolf B100 was not located during the last monitoring flight.

Lone/Paired Wolves. Dispersing Thunder Mountain wolf, B58, has been sporadically located in the Copper Basin Area.

B59, a 3 year-old dispersing wolf from the Thunder Mountain pack was most recently located in the Frank Church Wilderness west of Challis, ID.

B80, a 1999 Jureano Mountain pup who was relocated into the Selway in March 2000, has been located along the north side of the main Salmon River with another wolf.

Bitterroot and Beaverhead National Forests

White Cloud. White Cloud pack alpha female, wolf B36, was not found during the latest monitoring flight. Pack member B86 has not been located for the past few flights.

Relocated White Cloud pack wolf, B63 remains in the West Fork of the Bitterroot River drainage.

Report Wolf Sightings

As the wolf population continues to expand, an increased number of wolves will be uncollared compounding the difficult task of documenting formation of new packs. The Wolf Recovery Program relies on wolf sighting reports from the public to identify potential areas to survey for new wolf pack activity. Reports we received in the Copper Basin area last winter led to the confirmation of the Wildhorse pack. We would like to thank all those who have taken the time to report observed wolf activity and are hopeful that continued help from the public will result in confirmation of additional wolf packs. The Recovery Program encourages the public to report all sightings of wolves or their sign. Sightings can be reported to Curt Mack by mail at Nez Perce Tribe, P.O. Box 1922, McCall, ID 83638, or by phone at (208) 634-1061, or by email at nptwolf@cyberhighway.net; or Carter Niemeyer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1387 S. Vinnell Way, Rm 368, Boise, ID 83709, (208) 378-5347.

Research

Nothing new to report.

Outreach, Information, Education, & Coordination

Project personnel met with the Valley County Commissioners to provide an update on wolves and wolf recovery activities.

Project personnel met with the Idaho Legislative Wolf Oversight Committee to review U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's comments to the draft Idaho Wolf Management and Conservation Plan.

Project personnel attended Senate Natural Resources Committee meeting to discuss U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf recovery and delisting strategy.

Project personnel participated in a coordination meeting in Ketchup, Idaho. The meeting was sponsored by the Boulder White Cloud Council to discuss strengthening coordination and communication between agencies and the public; and wolf control protocols. The meeting was well attended including representatives from conservation organizations, federal and state agencies, tribes, and concerned citizens. The meeting was positive in initiating increased coordination and communication among participants.

The Nez Perce Tribe met with SNRA personnel in Stanley, Idaho to discuss coordination of wolf issues on the SNRA this summer.

Management & Control

Stanley Basin pack alpha female wolf B23 was lethally controlled on 16 March. Wildlife Services confirmed she had depredated on a calf in the Big Lost River drainage near Mackay, Idaho. The Stanley Basin pack disbanded last fall. B23, along with various other members of the pack, has been traveling widely outside her established territory. She was traveling alone at the time of the depredation. The Stanley Basin pack's alpha male was relocated last fall, so B27 did not have a chance to breed this winter.

B102, a recently collared Whitehawk pack member was legally shot by a livestock producer while the wolf was depredating on a calf on private property in the East Fork of the Salmon River. The Final Rule governing wolf management of nonessential experimental populations of gray wolves in Idaho, allows livestock producers to kill wolves found in the act of killing, wounding, or biting their livestock on their private property. This is the second incident of legal take by livestock producers in the Central Idaho Experimental Population Area. The Whitehawk pack, for unknown reasons, has traveled widely outside their established territory this winter. This was the first wolf depredation on livestock in the East Fork this winter, despite a high level of wolf activity in the area. Wolves hunting dispersed elk at higher elevations due to the lower than average snow pack is thought to help keep wolves out of winter calving grounds along the valley bottoms. Wildlife Services continues to maintain RAG boxes along the East Fork of the Salmon River to help deter wolf-livestock conflicts.




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