Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report
Week of July 5 - July 11, 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
Recent wolf flights have yielded no new confirmations of pups and few wolf sightings overall, probably
because hot weather makes wolves stay under cover and less visible from the air. A recent sighting by a
local landowner indicated the Taylor Peak pack in SW MT has 5 pups [only 2 had been seen before.
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.
Ross (FWP) and Fontaine investigated a possible slipped radio collar by the Sentinel pack alpha male. The
male had been located in the same spot during the last three aerial locations and it was thought that the
collar must have malfunctioned and not gone on mortality mode. The collar could not be located and it may
have just been a coincidence that the locations were similar. They did find the rendezvous site for the
pack and saw 3 pups. On the way out they stopped and talked to a local livestock producer that was missing
a calf shortly after the wolves were seen in the area.
Livestock Depredations & Management (control)
On the 7th, a young uncollared female wolf was captured and euthanized just outside the elk-fence in the
Sunlight Basin where the two calves were killed. Since a wolf returned to that specific area, even though
the calf carcasses were cleaned up, we consider the 2 dead 'probable' calves as now being 'confirmed' wolf
depredations. Traps will remain set but any other wolves captured will probably be radio-collared and
released on site. The ranch has also made several modifications to the fence to try and reduce the number
of spots wolves can get in.
The Absaroka pack still has mange. The alpha male died from manage this past winter. There have been reports
of other mangy wolves in this pack's territory. Volunteers watched a mangy wolf near coyotes - he was
attempting to scavenge and they were following/harassing him. On the 5th, male #240 was captured near a
recent calf depredation. He was involved in the depredation but also had very severe mange, and was
euthanized. Trapping is continuing to radio-collar and release on site, because only one radio remains in
the pack. Any wolves captured will be injected with Ivermectin to see if it can help the infected individual
wolf. We offer a special thanks to Wildlife Services specialist Marshall Robin and NW College [Powell, WY]
volunteer Keysha Fontaine [no relation to Joe]. They have been working closely to follow-up on these recent
depredations, monitor wolves, investigate the mange issue, and are actively helping to trap, radio-collar,
and monitoring wolf activity and assist with any potential depredations. Thanks for all your hard work,
skill, and long hours!
On June 30 Wildlife Services confirmed wolves killed a lamb and probably killed 3 other lambs and 2 ewes
about 10 miles NE of Riggins, ID on a Forest Service allotment. The producer was moving his sheep soon so
no control was taken. It appeared to be an unradioed pair and 4 pups. The producer had a herder and 2 guard
dogs protecting the sheep, but the dogs were relatively inexperienced. His best guard dog was killed by
wolves 2 months ago, but Defenders of Wildlife helped replace it. On July 2nd, 4 more ewes were killed, 2
confirmed and 2 probable. Trapping was initiated but was stopped when the producer moved his sheep on July
Asher and Fontaine have been working with the Madison Valley Ranch Lands group in an effort to prevent any
depredation by the Taylor Peak pack on a band of sheep that will be used to try and control weeds along the
Madison River including the islands. The sheep will be grazing in part of the Taylor Peak pack territory.
On the 9th they borrowed some Premier electro fence from CMR Refuge (Thanks Randy and Bill). The fencing
is light weight, 4ft high and consists of alternating positive and negative wires separated by plastic
stays that push into the ground. Two solar panels are used to keep the batteries charged. The fence will
be used around the night bedding pasture and will be moved daily to a new bedding ground. Hopefully the
system will help deter any problem wolves. This type of fencing connected to nylon mesh has been successfully
used to contain Mexican wolves during relocation as well as the wolves relocated to Spotted Bear.
The World Wolf Congress 2003, announced the Scientific Advisory Committee selected the oral and poster
presenters several form the northern Rocky Mountains. There are a wide ranging number of presenters and
topic areas in wolf research, conservation and management. Please visit www.worldwolfcongress.ca
for a tentative list (in alphabetical order) of presenters. On the Congress home page, click on the 'July
7' announcement. There are four (4) documents (in both 'html' and 'Word') that will explain these presentation
areas. The Conf. is Sept. 25-28 in Banff Canada, check the website for details.
Prescott University grad student Jon Trapp is investigating wolf den sites in northwest Montana. Jon and
his crew have been assisted by USFWS, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, National Park Service, U. S. Forest
Service, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Plum Creek Timber Company and other individuals in locating
dens in Montana.
Information, Education & Law Enforcement
On the 9th, Smith gave an evening presentation to about 400 general park visitors at Bridge Bay.
On the 10th, Stahler gave a presentation to about 20 Wildland Study Group students from UC Santa Barbara
who were visiting the Park.
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
Return to the Wolf Recovery - Progress Reports
Trips & Events |
Site Map |
Site owned by ©1998-2003 Wolf Recovery Foundation.
Site Design and Graphics by ©1997-2003 Wolff Den Design All Rights Reserved.
No part of this site or any material within this site may be
used without the expressed written permission from the author.