Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report

Week of May 18 - May 24, 2002

Monitoring

See http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/wolf/annualreports.htm/ for maps of pack locations and home ranges. The interagency 2001 annual report is available and has been mailed. Single copies can be obtained by writing to USFWS, Wolf Annual Report, 100 N. Park, #320, Helena, Montana.

Wildlife Services caught a grey lactating female near Mill Creek on the 19th. She was collared and released on site and is being monitored. The den was near the mouth of Mill Creek and not far from where a depredation occurred this spring and a wolf was legally killed by a private landowner. She is still in that general vicinity. Hopefully when elk begin to calve the pack will move their pups into the upper part of Mill Creek. The local rancher reported that last year she (or a wolf looking like her in this same area) was repeatedly seen with 2 black pups. Thanks to Jim Rost and Jim Hoover.

Wolf packs are denning and monitoring flights are still being conducted to determine the number and location of dens. In Idaho Selway, B-93 and B-95, Jureano, and probably Gold Fork are denned. The Tribe will continue to investigate other's denning status as the summer progresses.

In the Greater Yellowstone area (14 groups have denned, 6 might have denned and one did not den. The Teton (2 females may have bred again this year and at least 4-5 pups have been seen), Washakie, Sunlight, Absaroka (the alpha male that had mange this winter is still going strong), Beartooth, Green River have denned. The Gros Ventre and Greybull River may have denned and we are continuing to investigate. One of the yearlings from the Teton pack and 5 from the Yellowstone Delta pack [2 collars left] have apparently chewed off their radio collars that were put on this winter. Swan Lake, Leopold, Rose, Druid [2 dens], Mollie's, Nez Perce, Cougar Creek, Taylor Peak, and Freezeout [female seen nursing 3 pups - she was the original alpha female of the Taylor Peak pack but dispersed in 2001] packs have denned. Yellowstone Delta, Chief Joe, Sheep Mountain, and Mill Creek have probably denned but we aren't sure at this time. The Tower pair has not denned.

The denning status of other packs in Montana are [pack size Jan 1 is in brackets]: The Castle Rock pack [4] yes; Apgar [4](old S. Camas) no den female lost in summer 2001; Kintla [6](old N. Camas) maybe but unknown; Murphy Lake [3] yes; Ninemile [11 but 4 removed this spring] yes; Whitefish [4] yes; Grave Creek [6] yes; Spotted Bear [4] yes; Danaher [?] pack status unknown; Fishtrap [7] no - male dead and female moving widely; Gates Park [8] maybe unknown; Fish Creek [3] maybe unknown; Lupine [5] maybe but pack status unknown; Yaak [8- one died from snare injury] no, relocated ones too young; Little Thompson River [3] maybe unknown; Lazy Creek [2] maybe unknown; Hog Heaven [2] yes; Clearwater [2] no female dead; Trout Creek [2] maybe but unknown; and Silver City [2] den and 7 pups observed but the male is probably dead. Out of 20 potential wolf groups in NW MT, 8 are confirmed denning, 8 maybe denning but are not confirmed, and at least 4 have not denned.

Only one of the 5 surviving relocated Gravelly pups is still in the Yaak Valley. The other 4 have dispersed southward. The yearling male is still near Lakeside and the north end of Flathead Lake.

Please report wolf sightings in MONTANA, IDAHO, OR WYOMING!! If outdoors enthusiasts or AGENCY BIOLOGISTS report evidence of wolves to you please pass that information along to the Service.

Livestock Depredations & Management (control)

On the 19th or 20th, a female bear hunting hound was by killed 3-4 wolves near Garden Valley, ID.

Research

Nothing new to report.

Information, Education & Law Enforcement

On the 18th, Wolf recovery personnel Curt Mack from the Nez Perce Tribe and Carter Niemeyer from the Service participated in the Idaho Conservation League's annual meeting in Stanley, ID. Mack and Niemeyer led a nature walk for around 20 conference participants to discuss wolf biology, management, and recovery in Idaho.

On the 21st, Smith gave presentations to about 100 Park Interpreters.

On the 23rd, Meier traveled to Cranbrook, B.C. and met with B.C. and MT FW&P biologists to discuss small carnivore conservation issues of mutual interest.

On the 23rd, Jimenez was in Jackson at a meeting with grazing permittees on the Bridger-Teton NF and Grand Teton NP to discuss upcoming permits etc. Because of the drought conditions the grazing period or number of allowed livestock for many permits is being shortened.

Seasonal biologist Paul Frame left for the summer to start his M.S. thesis research on wolves in the NW Territories. Seasonal biologist Paul Hansen began working with Jimenez in Wyoming this week. They both worked with us last year and we are fortunate to have had them back.

The Nez Perce Tribe has opportunities for field volunteers to assist in their wolf recovery efforts. Contact (208)634-1061 or email at cherir@nezperce.org. Please submit current resume' by April 30, 2002.

The announcement for the Service's GS-7 summer field positions will close on the 28th. Check USAJOBS for details.

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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