Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report
Week of June 28 - July 4, 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
WY LE investigated the carcass of yearling female wolf #280 in Wyoming and recovered the radio-collar -
good job Tim! and thanks! The carcass had melted down considerably, it had been on mortality mode nearly 2
weeks. It was on a large ranch that has been very easy to work with and hard for the general public to
access. No foul play was suspected.
Three wolves recently died in YNP. They were the only collared wolves in their respective packs and 2 of
the 3 packs had pups. Wolf 105F was found dead on 6/9/03. She was originally from Druid Peak but established
her own pack on the boundary of YNP and Gallatin NF. She had nursed pups this year and was killed by other
wolves, likely Rose Creek wolves. Wolf 251F, also originally from the Druid pack, was found dead on 6/26/03.
She had a territory in northern YNP and pups were observed at her den. She was killed by an unknown
predator possibly a grizzly bear as her carcass was cached by a grizzly. Wolf 208M, was originally from
the Rose Creek pack and was found dead on 6/17/03. He and his mate lived near the Tower Area. The exact
cause of death is unknown but it appeared to be from natural causes.
In Idaho additional pups were documented in the Scott Mountain pack and this pack has at least 5 pups. The
uncollared Twin Peaks pack also has pups as does the radioed Selway pack, and work is underway getting
Reproduction has been confirmed in only 4 wolf packs in NW MT so far this year. Five pups were just seen
in the Lazy Creek Pack, making it the fourth pack (after Fishtrap, Hog Heaven, and Whitefish) in which pups
have been confirmed in northwest Montana. Investigations are continuing.
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 on June 16th. They couldn't react fast
enough other than to drive the wolf off the carcass. WS confirmed the loss and traps were set near the
calf's carcass. On the 29th, WS checked traps near Mackey, Idaho, that were set in response to the
depredation. A gray uncollared yearling female wolf was captured and euthanized. The pelt and skull were
not salvageable, so they were buried on site. Only one wolf was involved in the depredation so there will
be no additional control.
A cow was killed in the Sunlight Basin, WY, Forest Service allotment, probably by the Absaroka pack.
Trapping to radio-collar and release on site is being conducted. Lethal control may be initiated depending
on the circumstances.
Five members of the Sunlight Basin, WY pack were reportedly seen inside an elk proof fence on private
property feeding on a calf. Apparently they slipped through at some of the fence's open low spots. WS
investigated and found the remains of another calf carcass nearby. The two carcasses were largely consumed
so while the wolves probably killed them, neither could be confirmed. The calves were just shipped to this
pasture, and they sometimes die from shipping stress, so they might have just been scavenged. However this
pack has killed cattle before and likely killed these calves. If they come right back into the pasture, we
will take that as confirmation they are actively hunting cattle. That area is being trapped and some
captured wolves will be removed.
On June 28, the Murphy Lake Pack (5 wolves) was located by aerial telemetry in Pleasant Valley near a dead
cow. The herd manager was informed. He reported that it had not been killed by wolves.
We were notified that papers for the Banff September World Wolf Congress were accepted on N. Rocky Mountain
wolf issues including: Non-Lethal methods to enhance wolf recovery and deter wolf/human conflict in Montana;
Restoration of a gray wolf population in the northwestern United States; Approaches to Wolf Management and
Conservation; Wolf/elk Interactions on State Managed Elk Feed Grounds in Wyoming.
Prescott University M.S. graduate student Jon Trapp, who has been investigating den sites in Idaho and
will begin den work in northwest Montana on July 6.
The pilot GPS wolf study in Yellowstone [backtracking wolves during the summer to determine summer predator
rates] didn't work out because the downloadable function of the Televilt collars did not work adequately.
Information, Education & Law Enforcement
Idaho Fish and Game has a new wolf web page that will be posted on the Fish and Game Website starting July
1. It is located at
Niemeyer, Mack and Steve Nadeau [the Idaho Department of Fish and Game's state-wide Wolf Coordinator] met
in Stanley, Idaho to coordinate wolf management and the state's transition into becoming more actively
involved in wolf monitoring and field operations.
On the 27th, Smith gave a presentation at the Silvertip Ranch near Yellowstone to about 15 people. On the
weekend of the 28th, he taught a course for about 15 people at the Yellowstone Institute in the Lamar
Valley. Wolf watching in the Lamar Valley is amazing and more popular than ever. An average of more than
200 people are out each evening. Every overlook and pull-out is fulled to capacity as visitors search for
wolves. Doug reports it just seems to get more and more popular.
Bangs organized, and on July 2, provided Service comments to Wyoming Game and Fish on their final draft
Wyoming state wolf management plan.
During the evening of the 3rd Fontaine gave a presentation to about 50 people in the Ninemile Valley in NW
As confirmation of how far wolves can disperse, we pass along this story from the Midwest. A gray wolf
that was born to the Wildcat Mound pack in Jackson County, Wisconsin was found dead in a soy bean field
in central Indiana last month. He was born in April 2002 and was last located in Wisconsin in January,
2003. This was a 407 mile dispersal assuming he went straight through Chicago.
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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