Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report
Week April 7 - April 13, 2001
The alpha female of the Druid pack reportedly denned April 4 and several other females are going into
dens. The Taylor Peak female was laying by what look to be a freshly excavated den on the 7th. The
Washakie wolf was located by the old den on the 9th. Packs in the Sunlight Basin are also near last
year's dens. Flights are being conducted to monitor and locate packs that have apparently denned. This
year seems a little earlier than past years but maybe the wolves are just adjusting to being farther south.
The average den date for NW MT was around April 21 but it appears that most will have denned prior to that
date this year.
An attempt to capture members of the Washakie pack was unsuccessful on the 11th. Only the one radioed
wolf was located and only tracks of one wolf were seen near the old suspected 1998 den site. Helicopter
capture efforts in WY have ended for this spring unless special circumstances arise. This spring new
radios were put in Taylor Peak pack (2, including 1 GPS), Teton pack (2), and Sunlight pack (2).
Northwest Montana wolves are being more intensively monitored during the denning season and after the
release of 5 wolves in Kootenai National Forest. Volunteers Terrence McClelland, Kerry Healy, and Therese
Hartman are monitoring wolves in and around Glacier National Park. On Friday April 6, a mortality signal
was received from a male Whitefish Pack wolf (#251) in the North Fork of the Flathead River valley. The
carcass was retrieved by agent Branzell and biologist Meier along with NPS ranger Scott Emmerich on April
7. MT FWP warden Lee Anderson also assisted. The cause of death is under investigation.
The 5 recently released (3/28) Boulder wolves had regrouped (the male separated initially) and had stayed
a few miles north of their release site along the west shore of Koocanusa Res. until the 10th. Now, the
male was by himself again and the 4 females had moved north and were a mile into Canada and about a mile
from the west side of the Koocanusa Res. The "East Kootenai" pack containing a yearling female wolf
originally from the Graves Creek Pack, was also located on the West side of Lake Koocanusa in Canada some
21 km north of the border.
Please report wolf sightings!! Thanks to those who have been forwarding us reports it has helped located
several potential new packs. When we are this close to reaching the 30 breeding pair recovery goal, each
wolf pack becomes very important.
Livestock Depredations & Management (control)
On the morning of the 6th, a rancher in the Paradise Valley called about dead calf in his correl. WS
confirmed it was a wolf kill. Turner ESF biologists located the entire Chief Joe pack just about the
ranch. Bangs flew on the 7th, and the pack was still there. On the morning of the 8th, TESF biologist
Bradley found the Chief Joe trying to get a newborn calf from a very upset cow in Tom Miner Basin. She
and the rancher drove the wolves off and the calf was apparently unharmed. The cow had broken out of a
fenced pasture at night to apparently give birth in a more remote location. Discussions are being held
on what to do with this pack of about 10 wolves. Right now we are monitoring the situation and trying to
harass the pack as much as possible so it does not den in the Paradise Valley area. Chief Joe did move
back into the Park on the 10th and all the radioed pack members were still by their old den site there on
Nothing new to report.
Information, Education & Law Enforcement
The US Fish and Wildlife Service issued a news release that confirmed illegal poisoning as the cause of
death of 2 Idaho gray wolves. Necropsies confirmed that Idaho wolves #37 (found on Salmon-Challis
National Forest) and B-96 (found about 20 miles north of Fairfield, ID and had also been shot) were
killed by baits poisoned with Compound 1080. Possibly 2 other wolves from the Moyer Basin may have also
been poisoned. Compound 1080 is a highly toxic substance that is illegal to possess. Service Special
Agent Paul Weyland cautioned anyone in the out of doors "If you see a carcass, pile of meat, or pile dead
birds or smaller mammals, please contact a law enforcement office immediately. We are very concerned for
the safety of dogs and children, as well as wildlife that may be harmed by this illegal practice". FWS
Service agents can be contacted at (208)378-5333 [Boise, ID], (208)523-0855 [Idaho Falls, ID],
(307)261-6365 [Lander, WY], (406)582-0336 [Bozeman, MT] or (406)329-3000 [Missoula, MT].
On April 9, Meier attended the Spring 2001 Montana FWP Region 1 Wildlife Program Meeting at Ant Flat Ranger
Station. The meeting included about 30 representatives of MTFWP, USFWS, USFS, and British Columbia
Ministry of Environment. The semi-annual meeting helps to coordinate wildlife and natural resource
issues along the Canadian/US border.
On the 13th, Bangs met with Fred King, manager of the state's Wall Creek Game Management area among other
wildlife management areas, Forest Service managers, and talked with Dr. Irby's Montana State University
graduate level wildlife management class to discuss resource issues in the Madison Valley.
The 2000 annual report was completed. It will be mailed beginning next week and should also be available
at http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/wolf/annualrpt00/ later in the week.
The weekly wolf report can now be viewed at the Service's Region 6 web site at
Contact: Ed Bangs (406)449-5225 or Internet - ED_BANGS@FWS.GOV
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