Idaho Wolf Update
May 1999

Gray wolves identified in these updates are referenced as B-XX-Y. The B identifies the wolf as a central Idaho animal, numbers identify individuals, and the Y indicates male (M) or female (F).

Monitoring

North of the Salmon River

Poor weather continued to plague efforts to monitor wolves north of the Salmon River.

Panhandle, Clearwater, and Lolo National Forests

The Snow Peak pack including alpha pair B-20-F and B-31-M continued to move within the upper St. Joe drainage and North Fork of the Clearwater drainages. Because alpha female B20 has not localized her movements, it is still undetermined whether this pack has reproduced this year. She was last located in the Meadow Creek drainage, a headwater tributary to the North Fork of the Clearwater River.

The Kelly Creek pack including alpha wolves B-15-F and 9013-M continued to travel within the Kelly Creek drainage. During the month of May, radio-collared members of this pack have been scattered and located throughout much of the drainage. We suspect that alpha female B15 is raising her third litter of pups.

The Big Hole pack including alpha wolves B-11-F and B-07-M continue to use tributaries along the south side of the Lolo Creek drainage from Mill Creek upstream to Lolo Hot Springs. Reproduction has been confirmed for this pack and monitoring crews will continue working to collect reliable pup counts to determine litter size. Trapping crews have place one new radio collar on a subadult member of this pack.

Lone wolf B-52-M has not been located since last fall.

Wolf R-132 has not been located since 24 April. Continued poor weather has hampered efforts to track this wolf.

Nez Perce National Forest

The Selway pack, including alpha wolves B-05-M and B10-F, are suspected to be denning east of Elk City. This would be their second litter within the past four years.

South of the Salmon River

Payette National Forest

The Chamberlain Basin pack including alpha wolves B-09-M and B-16-F have been consistently located together around the suspected den site within the eastern portion of Chamberlain Basin.

The Thunder Mountain pack including alpha female wolf B-22-F and her mate of unknown origin have concentrated their movements during the month of May to within a suspected den site east of Thunder Mountain.

Dispersing female wolf B45 appears to have, at least for the moment, settled her movements within the upper Secesh drainage. During the month of May she traveled as far west as Partridge Creek approximately 10 miles southeast of Riggins, Idaho. She returned and has remained in the upper Secesh drainage, just north of McCall, Idaho, since mid May.

Boise National Forest

B33 continues to travel within the Landmark pack's territory. He has concentrated his movements between Landmark, Idaho, east to the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Although we remain hopeful, to date, we have not been able to determine whether B33 is associated with a whelping female wolf.

Salmon-Challis National Forest

The Jureano Mountain pack including alpha wolves B-25-F and B-32-M, were separated for much of May. The alpha pair have concentrated their movements around the den site within the lower Panther Creek drainage just west of Salmon, Idaho. Radio-collared subadult wolves have spent much of the month of May bordering the extreme southeast corner of the Moyer Basing pack's territory between Hat and Iron Creek drainages; about 15-20 straight line miles south of the alpha pair. Both Hat and Iron Creek are grazed by sheep and cattle. Although no depredations were confirmed, wolves were located from the air within cattle and one dead calf was discovered in close proximity to wolves. Tribal monitoring crews and Wildlife Service agents continue to work closely with livestock producers in this area. We suspect that these subadults will not remain in this area for long, and will reunite with the alpha pair raising this year's pups.

The Moyer Basin pack suffered another setback with the loss of subadult wolf B-51-F. Her carcass was recovered and sent to the National Forensics Lab in Oregon. The incident is under investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Branch of Law Enforcement. Alpha female B-37-F is still suspected to be denning within the Silver Creek drainage. Dispersing subadult male wolves B40 and B47 continue to travel together within the Middle Fork Drainage. They were last located at the mouth of Soldier Creek.

The Twin Peaks pack including alpha wolves B-35-F and B-18-M have concentrated their movements during the month of May around their den site within the Frank Church River-of-No-Return Wilderness, west of Challis, Idaho.

Sawtooth National Forest

The Stanley Basin pack including wolf pair B-23-F and B-27-M, have concentrated their activities around the suspected den site for much of May. Reproduction is suspected but not confirmed for this pack. Dispersing female wolf B38 was not located during the month of May. Trapping crew placed one additional radio collar on a subadult member of this pack.

Adult wolf B-28-M and yearling wolf B-61-F, after spending much of the month of April traveling together, have gone their separate ways. B28 was most recently located just north and west of Cape Horn. On 24 May, B61 was located in Antz Basin in the upper end of Warm Springs Creek drainage, a tributary of the Main Salmon River. Most recently she has moved northeast and was last located on the north face of the Main Salmon River just west of Clayton, Idaho.

The White Cloud pack including alpha female wolf B-36-F have concentrated their activities around the East Fork of the Salmon River. Reproduction is suspected but not confirmed for this pack. Two subadults were relocated from this pack during a control action in response to confirmed depredation of cattle (see Management and Control section).

Research

The Diamond Moose Calf Mortality Study was initiated in mid May. A total of 231 livestock calves were ear-tagged with radio transmitters before cattle were turned out on open range. We would like to welcome John Oakleaf as the newest member of the Idaho Wolf Recovery Team. John will be conducting the Calf Mortality Study, as a graduate student working under Dr. Dennis Murray, at the University of Idaho. John is looking forward to a busy and productive summer.

Outreach

Recovery Program staff continued coordination and outreach efforts with cooperators and interested and affected agencies and private individuals. Program Staff participated and presented at the wolf meeting sponsored by Defender's of Wildlife in Bend Oregon.

Control

The White Cloud pack was involved in a confirmed cattle depredation along the East Fork of the Salmon River. One calf was confirmed and additional losses were suspected. Subadult male wolf B64 and subadult female wolf B65 were captured and relocated along the Lochsa River near Powell, Idaho. Bad weather north of the Salmon River has hampered efforts to track these relocated wolves. B64 has not been located since his release. B65 was last located southwest of Darby, Montana.








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