Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report
Week of July 20 - July 26, 2002
http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/wolf/annualreports.htm/ for maps of pack locations and home ranges.
On 7/20 a pup was apparently struck and killed by a vehicle on the upper Ninemile road in NW MT. The
carcass is being examined to confirmed cause of death.
A flight on the 16th, saw at least 3 pups in the Sunlight pack, and 4 in the Absaroka, and at least 2 have
been seen from the ground in the Greybull River pack. Three radio collars that were on mortality mode from
the Yellowstone Delta pack were recovered this week. All three had been chewed off, including one that was
"studded" to prevent chew-offs. This pack did the same thing last year. A disperser from the Washakie pack
returned and the pack now has three radioed members. Wolf packs are routinely moving pups to rendezvous
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)
Trapping/shooting control continues in the Dunoir Valley near Dubois, WY. Trapping will continue for
another week and the next 1-2 uncollared wolves that are captured will be killed. Two attempts were made
to fly the area and shoot any wolves in then open this week by a WS fixed-wing aircraft but none were
vulnerable. The Diamond G Ranch reported that cattle on their Forest Service allotment where the radioed
Washakie wolves are also often found, are being moved around but no depredations have been found. A Service
biologist, Paul Hansen, is on the ranch checking traps, monitoring wolf activity, and identifying potential
On the 20th, wolves from the Freezeout pack killed 2 ewes and probably 2 lambs (the carcasses completely
consumed?) on a Forest Service grazing allotment in the Gravely range. The area is remote and the
depredation wasn't reported for a couple of days. On the 25th, an uncollared grey yearling female was shot
by WS. The other radioed members of pack was harassed by the helicopter in hopes of driving them from the
area, in which 6 bands of sheep are being grazed. The bands have herders and guard dogs. Agency control has
ended unless more livestock are attacked. The livestock producer has a permit to shoot wolves in the act
of depredating of the public grazing allotment. In addition the WS trapper in that area was authorized to
shoot another wolf if he believed it was chasing or "hunting" livestock.
The Idaho wolf recovery team and the Defenders of Wildlife are maintaining several miles of fladry to
separate wolves from cattle on a private ranch. Wolf movement patterns will be measured by RAG box monitors
and track surveys in and outside the fencing/fladry to test its effectiveness. We thank the private
landowners and the Defenders of Wildlife for their cooperation. To date radioed wolves have been picked up
in the area but none are known to have crossed the fladry or come close enough to it to trigger the remote
Information, Education & Law Enforcement
On July 19 the Federal District Court for Idaho issued a ruling on a preliminary injunction regarding
livestock grazing in the USDA Forest Service's Sawtooth National Recreation Area in central Idaho. The
judge did not prohibit continued grazing in the area but did order the Forest Service to utilize more
non-lethal tools to reduce the potential for wolf and livestock conflict. He also believed he had a legal
nexus to order the Service to not conduct control within the SNRA for depredations within the SNRA before
September 1. Because most depredations and wolf control near and in the SNRA where on private land the
order will probably have little effect on wolf control this summer. However, the Service is committed to
implementing the experimental population rules, including lethal wolf control, when warranted. The Service
is reviewing its legal options, including an appeal or requesting a reconsideration of the Judge's decision.
Wolf Recovery Coordinator Bangs expressed his concern over the source, experience, and ages of cattle being
turned out on a Forest Service grazing allotment in the Gros Ventre drainage and the potential for wolf
depredations. (SEE the response that was attached to the 7/19 weekly). The producer responded, clarified
some mis-information, and is using nearly twice as many riders as usual to keep close track of his cattle -
which is commendable. While still expressing some concern Bangs thanked to the producer for clarifying the
situation and offered his apology. The Service gladly accepted the livestock producer's offer, and shares
his desire, to work cooperatively to resolve their respective concerns.
Swedish wolf/ungulate biologist Dr. Olof Liberg toured the Mid-West and West the weeks of July 8th-20th.
He visited with various project personnel about wolf issues and research in the U.S. Olof is responsible
for writing up the final notes/recommendations of the wolf PVA meeting that was held in Sweden this past
Niemeyer, Mack (Nez Perce), and Williams (WS) gave a presentation to about 20 school teachers at the
Sawtooth Science Institute in Ketchum, ID on the 17th.
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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