Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report
Week of May 25 - May 31, 2002
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 attacking a calf 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 for getting
the collar out.
Wolf packs are denning and monitoring flights are still being conducted to determine the number and location
of dens. The Teton pack has 11 pups so it appears that two females in that pack bred again this year as
they did in 2001. The Greybull (WY) den was located and it appears they have pups. Trapping will be
attempted to put a radio in the group as soon as feasible.
The Yellowstone Delta pack is at their 2000 den. Only the alpha female remains collared. Efforts are
underway to retrieve the five collars that were put on last winter but are on mortality mode. We assume
they have all been chewed off (one has been retrieved and was chewed off) but won't know for sure about
the others until we get them back. A dispersing male from the Druid pack has been hanging around the
traditional Sheep Mountain pack's den. We assume they have denned and he is the new alpha male. Last year's
alpha was removed because of livestock depredations last summer.
A black female Gravelly pup #233 (now yearling) that had been crossing back and forth into B.C., was legally
harvested in B.C. Canada near Fort Steel on the 24th. She was in good shape. Of the 4 surviving relocated
Gravelly pups (now yearlings) two (#232m and #230f) are still in the Yaak Valley. Male (#234) was located
on the 30th on the MT/ID border north of Highway 2 and male #229 was last heard in mid-April, in the Yaak. The 2-year-old male (204) was last heard near Lakeside, on the northwest side of Flathead Lake. The relocated Gravelly alpha female is still assumed to be in Canada.
Monitoring indicates that Whitefish and Kintla packs are in Glacier National Park and are denned.
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 killed 3-4 wolves near Garden Valley, ID. No control
or compensation is authorized for hunting dog depredations by wolves on public land.
Wildlife Services confirmed from wounds and tracks that a calf was killed by wolves in the Red Lodge area
on the night of the 25th. Plans were to try and put a radio in the suspected Red Lodge wolf pack (4-5 wolves?).
That pack contains no radioed members but has been reportedly observed several times. Searches of the area
did not reveal any concentration of wolf sign so trapping was not conducted. More cattle are going out on
pasture in that area now and we are monitoring the situation.
A radio collared gray wolf was seen feeding on a calf in the Centennial Valley in SW MT on the 26th. The
local rancher was contacted by the concerned citizen. The rancher shot near the wolf, which was standing
there looking at them less than 50yds away, and scared it from the area. The rancher believed the wolf
appeared ill. Necrosy indicated the calf had died from natural causes and was simply being scavenged.
Efforts will be made to search the area for missing radioed wolves.
A black wolf was reported feeding on sheep carcasses in the Hill City in eastcentral Idaho (west of
Fairfield) on the 28th. Two lambs and 2 ewes from 2 separate bands were confirmed killed. WS and NPT
personnel set traps on the 28th and caught a sub-adult black male wolf the next morning. He was radio-collared
and released on site. Follow-up investigation and monitoring suggest he maybe the only wolf involved. No
further control is planned at this time.
Liz Bradley, an MS graduate student at the Univ. Montana is beginning her field work. Her study will look
at cattle depredations and wolf control actions since 1987 to determine if there are patterns in depredations
and what type of control is most effective. She is also doing a paired survey (those with problems and
those without in the same area) of cattle ranches to see what factors may be involved in wolf/cattle
conflict. She is scheduled to finish her thesis in late 2003.
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
On the 18th, Doug Smith gave a talk about Yellowstone wolves to 110 people at the California Wolf Center. The Wolf Center helps privately fund some of the research on wolves in Yellowstone National Park. Doug also spoke to about 75 people at the University of San Diego on May 17th about the impact of wolves on the Yellowstone ecosystem.
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.
Seasonal biologist Paul Frame left for the summer to start his M.S. thesis research on denning wolves in
the NW Territories. Seasonal biologist Paul Hansen began working with Jimenez in Wyoming on the 21st. The
Paul's both worked with us last year and we are fortunate to have had them come back.
This week's issue of the High Country News had a front page major news article about wolf restoration and
the painful part of wolf recovery - control, featuring Carter Niemeyer. High Country News radio show also
has a segment on the same subject.
On the 31st, Montana's Governor Judy Martz held a public/media briefing in the Montana Capital Building
to discuss wolf recovery and the upcoming cooperative effort to complete state wolf management plans and
the impending (2003) transfer of management authority to the states. Representatives for Montana, Idaho,
and Wyoming's Governors and Wildlife Departments attended, along with Ralph Morgenweck, the Service's Regional
Director and Ed Bangs, the wolf Recovery Coordinator. The meeting was well publicized and attended.
On the 23rd, Jimenez was suppose to be in Jackson, WY at a meeting with grazing permittees on the
Bridger-Teton NF and Grand Teton NP to discuss upcoming permits etc. in relation to wolves and grizzly
bears. However, the permittees with wolf packs near their allotments couldn't attend and so the meeting
just dealt with grizzly bear issues. Wolf issues will be addressed by phone or in a subsequent meeting.
Because of the drought conditions and lack of forage the grazing period and/or number of allowed livestock
for many permits is being reduced.
Deb Guernsey gave her one and only yearly Yellowstone wolf presentation to a high school environmental
science high school class from Minnesota. About 15 students attended the talk on the 24th. Rumors have it
her presentation included a mixture of blues singing and interpretive dance - a bit unusual but reportedly
it was very well received. Great job Deb!, but you could pick up the pace a little (maybe 2 talks a year)
and relieve Dr. Smith from the hundreds of talks he conducts. It seems anyone even making eye contact with
him gets his wolf lecture.
Smith gave a talk to about 15 National Outdoor Leadership School students on the 28th.
A wolf was reportedly killed in the Six-mile Drainage near Emigrant, MT and it is under investigation.
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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