Idaho Wolf Update
July 27, 1998

This report includes the most recent locations of wolves in the state. Information will change in accordance with conditions that allow aerial and/or field monitoring of wolves. Because of the busy field season, updates may be prepared and disseminated on a somewhat irregular basis through the summer. Updates will be provided as time and field priorities allow. We appreciate your understanding and patience. Results of ground field efforts will be reported at the end of the field season as soon as accurate and complete information is available.

Gray wolves identified in these updates are referenced as B-XX-Y. The B identifies the wolf as a central Idaho animal, numbers identify individuals and the Y indicates male (M) or female (F).


Summary

Monitoring crews continue to document the reproductive status of wolves across the state with much success. A total of nine pairs and packs have now been confirmed to have produced pups in 1998, and pups have been observed in all nine pairs and packs. Except for the Landmark pack, all 1997 breeding pairs produced pups again in 1998 which include: the Kelly Creek, Chamberlain Basin, Jureano Mountain, Moyer Basin, and Stanley Basin wolf packs. The Chamberlain Basin pack has produced pups for three consecutive years.

The Big Hole pair has finally attained "pack" status by producing pups for the first time in this pair's three year history. After initially establishing in the Big Hole country of northwestern Montana, these wolves were relocated multiple times in response to livestock depredation concerns, precluding opportunities for this pair to settle and establish a pack. It is a great relief to see these wolves finally establish a new territory, successfully raise their first litter of pups, and contribute to wolf recovery in Idaho.

Three new wolf pairs are also raising litters of wolf pups, establishing new packs this summer. These include: B-18- M and B-35-F in the Twin Peaks area just west of Challis, B-22-F and an undetermined mate in the Thunder Mountain area just south of Chamberlain Basin and east of the town of Yellow Pine, and B-36-F and an undetermined mate in the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains.

Monitoring crews continue to obtain wolf pup counts for all reproductive pairs. Litter sizes will be reported as soon as accurate and complete counts for all reproductive pairs are documented.

Wolf locations for this report were obtained from flights conducted between 10 and 26 July 1998.

All wolves (except lone wolf B-14-M currently in NW Montana) being monitored via radio-telemetry remain within the experimental area on national forest land.

Monitoring

North of the Salmon River

Three wolf packs (Kelly Creek, Big Hole, and Selway) and 1 wolf pair ( B-20-F and B-31-M) occur in this area. In addition, 2 lone wolves (B-33-M, and B-51-F) frequent habitats north of the Salmon River. The Kelly Creek pack produced pups in 1997 and 1998; the Big Hole pack produced pups for the first time this summer (1998); and the Selway pack has not produced pups since their initial litter in 1996.

Panhandle, Clearwater, and Lolo National Forests

Wolf pair B-20-F and B-31-M were again located together in the upper St. Joe River drainage. This pair has frequented the Bitterroot divide between Idaho and Montana since early Summer. To date, there is no indication that this pair has produced pups.

The Kelly Creek pack including alpha wolves B-15-F and 9013-M continues to use the upper Kelly Creek drainage and surrounding country along the Bitterroot divide north of Lolo Pass.

The Big Hole pack including alpha wolves B-11-F and B-07-M continue to frequent habitats on the Bitterroot divide just south of Lolo Pass on the Lolo and Clearwater National Forests.

Nez Perce National Forest

Wolf B-33-M was last located in the Gospel Hump Wilderness on 6 July 1998. On that flight, B-33-M was observed from the air. No other wolves were observed with him.

Lone female Boulder pack yearling wolf B-43-F was located northwest of Elk City.

The Selway pack including alpha wolves B-5-M and B-10-F continue to move widely within their home range. They were last located near Red River Guard Station on 6 July 1998.

South of the Salmon River

Eight wolf packs (Chamberlain, B-22-F and mate, Jureano Mountain, Moyer Basin, B-18-M and B-35-F, B-36-F and mate, Stanley Basin, and Landmark), 1-2 wolf pairs (B-28-M and B-30-F, and B-19-M and undetermined), and 1 lone wolf (B-02-M) occur in this area.

Payette National Forest

The Chamberlain Basin pack including alpha wolves B-09-M and B-16-F was located on the western side of Chamberlain Basin.

Wolf B-22-F was again located in the upper East Fork of the Salmon River drainage.

Boise National Forest

Wolves B-30-F, B-28-M were located together in the northern end of Bear Valley near Ayers Meadows.

Field efforts continue to determine the whereabouts and status of the Landmark pack. We appreciate the reports of wolves and wolf sign we have received from the public as this information is helpful in targeting field crew's efforts to locate and re-collar members of this pack. Tribal field crews searched for sign throughout the northern and western portions of this pack's summer territory without success. Efforts will continue in Bear Valley, the southern portion of their territory.

Salmon-Challis National Forest

Wolf B-19-M was observed during a monitoring flight on 14 July 1998. He was observed with one other status undetermined wolf. We suspect he may have picked up a subadult or two year-old from the Landmark pack and are hopeful that they will establish an additional wolf pair.

The Jureano Mountain pack including alpha wolves B-25-F and B-32-M, was again located in the Moose Creek/Napias Creek drainages.

We did not locate wolf B-24-M.

The Moyer Basin pack including alpha pair B-29-M and B-37-F was again located in the Silver Creek/upper Panther Creek drainages (see CONTROL below).

Wolves B-35-F and B-18-M were located together in the upper Yankee Fork drainage.

Sawtooth National Forest

The Stanley Basin pack including wolf pair B-23-F and B-27-M continues to frequent the east side of Stanley Basin.

Wolf B-36-F continues to frequent the White Cloud and Boulder Mountains.

B-02-M was not located.

Research

Nothing new to report.

Outreach

Project personnel continue to work closely with livestock producers in areas where there is a potential for wolf livestock conflicts.

The Project along with the Wolf Education and Research Center in Boise, Idaho produced and disseminated nearly 1,000 brochures on wolves and wolf recovery in Idaho.

Control

The first confirmed wolf depredation of the summer occurred when members of the Moyer Basin pack killed a documented 4 cattle near Cobalt, Idaho. Wildlife Services responded and captured a subadult female wolf. The wolf was collared and relocated by Tribal biologists within the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness. No further losses have been reported to date.








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