Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report
Week of June 14 - June 20, 2003
NEW WEB ADDRESS - See westerngraywolf.fws.gov/
for maps of wolf pack locations and home ranges, tables of wolf numbers and depredations, and summaries of
The alpha female [and only radio-collared member] of the Buffalo Fork pack was found dead on the 14th.
She had recently nursed pups but the remaining 4 pack members should be able to successfully rear them.
She was apparently killed by other wolves and the Rose Creek pack only a mile or so away from her carcass.
The carcass and radio-collar of a pup from the Sentinel pack south of Bozeman that darted last winter was
recovered. The carcass was intact but very decayed and the wolf had been dead for some time. Cause of death
did not appear to be caused by illegally.
Therese Hartman, assisted by volunteers Kassy Holzheimer and Elizabeth Morton, captured and radio-collared
a yearling female wolf from the Spotted Bear Pack on June 19.
Litters were documented for four additional wolf packs in central Idaho this week including Chamberlain,
Jureano Mountain, Orphan, and Scott Mountain. Jim and Holly Akenson, University of Idaho researchers and
caretakers at Taylor Ranch assisted the Tribe in documenting the litter for the Chamberlain Basin pack.
Good job Jim and Holly! A total of 14 wolf litters have been documented so far in Idaho this summer.
Capture efforts in the Grave Creek Pack territory [NW MT] have been suspended, after no fresh wolf sign
was seen in more than two weeks of trapping.
WE NEED HELP FROM COOPERATORS AND PUBLIC - We are currently into the trapping season, when we try to
radio-collar wolves from previously unknown packs and beef up our collar coverage in known packs.
Please report any sightings of wolf activity to the nearest U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state Fish
and Game Agency, Forest Service, BLM, Tribal, or USDA Wildlife Services office.
Livestock Depredations & Management (control)
Herders watched as a lone wolf killed a 200lb calf in central Idaho, just north of Arco. They couldn't
react fast enough other than to drive the wolf off the carcass. WS confirmed the loss and traps have been
set near the calf's carcass. If the wolf is captured it will be killed.
The remains of a calf, found near Trego, MT about June 5, were thawed out and examined by Wildlife Services
specialist Ted North. He determined that the calf had not died of predation. WS specialist McDougal also
examined a dead calf near Big Hole, MT from last week, and it was also not killed by predators. There have
been very few depredations by wolves so far this summer.
Yellowstone National Park was trying to examine summer wolf predation by monitoring members of the Druid
pack using GPS locations [multiple locations are taken each day] were that are downloaded weekly. Unfortunately the GPS collars don't seem to be functioning properly and were only transmitting a couple of locations per day. That isn't frequent enough to determine of wolves route of travel and identify location clusters to look for summer kills.
Information, Education & Law Enforcement
Doug Smith gave several talks this past week. He spoke to abut 200 people at the GYC 20th anniversary
annual meeting in West Yellowstone on the 13th. He talked to about 100 park visitors at the Tower Hotel
and several dozen a teachers at their workshop in the Park. He also talked to several Yellowstone Foundation
members on the 20th.
Bangs talked with about 20 FWS R-6 Reality Specialists at their retreat and meeting at Big Sky, MT on the
17th. On the 18th Bangs spoke to about 30 Missoula Rotary members in Missoula, MT.
Asher met with several ranchers from the Taylor Fork area of Montana, south of Bozeman, MSU researchers,
and MT FW&P. It appears there was some confusion among the local residents over who was ultimately
responsible for wolf-related issues and who should be contacted. The rules are: for dead wolves you go to
FWS law enforcement, livestock losses to Wildlife Services, and everything else goes to the Service,
although MT FW&P and the Univ. can certainly help out or pass information along. Val Asher is the
representative for the USFWS in that area. The meeting went well and it was clarified that the USFWS is
the only agency with direct wolf-management authorities while wolves are listed. After delisting MT FW&P
would be the sole lead management agency. The University is simply conducting some cooperative research
under a FWS and/or MT FW&P permits. Asher is going down to assist the Mexican wolf program next week.
She will be helping to relocate and release some wolves into their backcountry Wilderness using pack mules.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Boise, Idaho filed a request for a clarification of the Judge's order regarding
its prohibition of "any" wolf control in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area on the 18th. The
FWS asked that non-lethal measurers be allowed by the court should there be a depredation. The Service
assisted in preparing that request and appreciates DOJ's efforts.
On Friday, Bangs met with a USA Today reporter who is writing about the success of wolf and grizzly bear
recovery in the western United States.
The weekly wolf report can now be viewed at the Service's Region 6 web site at
westerngraywolf.fws.gov. This report is
government public property and can be used for any purpose. Please distribute as you see fit.
Contact: Ed Bangs (406)449-5225 or Internet - ED_BANGS@FWS.GOV
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