Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report

Week of May 9 - May 15, 1998

Monitoring

Packs in the Yellowstone, central Idaho, and NW Montana areas appear to be in the normal home ranges. Wolf activity is centered around the den sites and there is no significant monitoring activity to pass along. On May 14 the field crews departed for the Kalispell and Libby areas. Searches will begin in the Yaak and Thompson River areas with no trapping until spring black bear season ends on May 15. Trapping will begin as soon as possible in Glacier National Park. Three of the crew members will attend a capture and handling course for wolves in Winchester, Idaho on May 19-21.

Control

On April 9, 1998 Wildlife Services investigated the loss of a newborn calf in the Ninemile Valley, Montana. A number of wolf tracks were in the area where the calf had been laying. Traps were set on April 13 to try and prevent additional depredations by capturing and radio collaring a wolf or wolves that might return to the area. On April 17 a 75 pound yearling female wolf was captured, radio collared and released on site. The calf was found on April 21 floating in a stream near the area. Onsite necropsy of the calf indicated it had been killed by wolves. On May 10 Wildlife Services investigated the death of another calf at a nearby ranch. They confirmed that it had been killed by wolves. Traps were set and on May 13, 2 wolves were killed; a 2 year old male and a 2 year old female. No further control will be conducted unless there are additional depredations.

Since 1990 only 4 calves have been killed by wolves in the Ninemile Valley. Prior control measures consisted of trapping, radio collaring and releasing the wolf(ves) on site. Unfortunately this did not work this time. Wolves have occupied the Ninemile area for the last 9 years and these are the first 2 wolves that had to be lethally controlled due to livestock depredations.

We are still begging, whining and pleading for any wolf observations. The field season is just beginning and it's important to note any and all wolf sign. Please pass this on to your field crews. They can call Joe Fontaine at (406) 449-5225 ext 206 or send us a card or letter.

Research

Nothing new to report.

I & E

!!JOBS!! Attempts to hire 2 field wolf biologists and station them in Wyoming are being accelerated! If you or someone you know may be interested in these positions please contact Ed Bangs. These positions will likely be filled at the GS-9 and GS-11 level. Recruitment will be done over the next several months. We are particularly interested in experienced wolf or large carnivore biologists in or outside of Government Service.

Doug Smith and Roy Heberger held a public meeting in Rexburg, Idaho to talk about wolf issues with the livestock producers.

Fontaine, Oakleaf and Lindsey travelled to Troy, MT to meet with Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks, Forest Service and the Grizzly Bear Recovery biologist to discuss the trapping operation. They then went to the Yaak to give a presentation about wolf recovery. Only a few people attended the meeting and it was suggested that another time be scheduled that would allow more people to attend. A letter was mailed to each of the 180 Yaak residents inviting them to the presentation at the Yaak Community Center on May 18 at 7 pm. The letter also contained a brief status of the wolf recovery program.

The weekly wolf report can now be viewed at the Service's Region 6 web site at http://www.r6.fws.gov/wolf Contact: Ed Bangs (406)449-5225 or Internet-ED_BANGS@FWS.GOV






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