Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report

Week of August 3 - August 9, 2002

Monitoring

See http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/wolf/annualreports.htm/ for maps of pack locations and home ranges.

On the 9th, Meier was checking traps set by Jaffe and Hartman in an area near the Idaho/Montana border [Noxon, MT] where Stimson Lumber employees had reported seeing 2 adults last winter and 6 pups [2 gray and 4 black?] this spring. Tom heard the pack howl nearby as he tagged a 35lb gray, male pup. This new pack is in a great area and we very much appreciate Stimpson Lumber for being so helpful and allowing us to trap on their lands.

In NW Montana, 3 pups were seen in the Hog Heaven pack and 2 in Spotted Bear on the 5th.

Please report wolf sightings in MONTANA, IDAHO, OR WYOMING!!

Livestock Depredations & Management (control)

Trapping/shooting control ended in the Dunoir Valley near Dubois, WY on the 9th. Earlier control efforts removed 2 wolves but none recently. Except for the 45 day landowner shoot-on-site permit no other control is planned unless additional livestock are killed.

Over the weekend of the 4th, 2 calves were killed by wolves on a Forest Service allotment in the Gros Ventre drainage. On the 5th a yearling was killed and sightings of a gray and a black radioed wolf were reported but no active radios were detected. Telemetry indicated the Teton pack was not in that area. Trapping and radio-collaring to release on-site was unsuccessful and discontinued on the 9th. The permittee was given a permit to shoot a wolf in the act of attacking livestock on the allotment. No further control is planned unless additional livestock are killed. Early this week a lone unradioed gray wolf, probably a Washakie pack member, killed a calf near Union Pass south of the Dunoir Valley near Dubois, WY. It will be killed if found in that area again but no control is ongoing.

On the 4th a possible wolf kill was reported south of Avon, MT in NW MT. On the 5th Fontaine flew and found the Castle Rock pack on a different livestock carcass. The WS investigation confirmed 3 calves had been killed. Trapping began and an adult male was captured, radio-collared and released at the carcass. WS has been authorized to remove 2 wolves, including the alpha male from the pack. On the 8th, another calf was suspected killed by wolves. Control is ongoing.

A calf was confirmed killed by wolves on a Forest Service grazing allotment near Salmon, ID. A couple of other cows appear to have recently lost calves. WS was authorized to kill 2 wolves from the pack.

The instillation of electric fencing and the hanging of fladry around llama pastures and the recent suspicious death of 2 wolves in the Ninemile Valley has eliminated the need for continuing that lethal control action. No further lethal control is planned unless additional livestock are attacked.

On the 6th, 16 sheep [lambs] were reportedly killed near Logan, UT most with crushed skulls. The WS trapper reported the howling of a lone wolf-like canid. WS is investigating but it is suspected to not be wolf-related. However, if a wild wolf was responsible for the depredations it will be killed.

Research

Montana State University has a great web site established where you can see what they are doing on their research about wolf and elk relationships in and adjacent to Yellowstone National Park. See www.montana.edu/ecology/staff/garrott/index.htm for access and click on wolf-ungulate dynamics.

On the 6th, Bangs, Fontaine, Smith and Asher met with Montana State University graduate students and advisors, and Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks biologists in Bozeman to discuss the ongoing elk and wolf research projects in the Gallatin and Madison Valleys. Getting additional radios on the Taylor Peak and Chief Joe packs is the highest priority. Trapping may begin this fall and will involve cooperation from MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks, MT State Univ., Service, Turner Endangered Species Fund, Yellowstone National Park and USDA Forest Service.

Information, Education & Law Enforcement

On the 7th, Bangs and Smith attended a wolf informational meeting hosted by the Montana House and Senate Fish and Game Committees. About 25 people attended and several gave testimony. Nearly everyone was in agreement that a recovered wolf population should be delisted from the ESA and managed by the respective states. The states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming have signed a cooperative agreement with the Service to help prepare a joint cooperative wolf delisting proposal this winter in anticipation of achieving wolf population recovery in December 2002 and Wyoming changing state law and adopting a WY state wolf management plan by April 1, 2003. (See attached wolf discussion paper that was distributed at this meeting).

On the 8th, Fontaine met with Defenders of Wildlife Representatives, landowners, and fencing contractors in the Ninemile Valley near Missoula, MT to look at ways to improve protection of livestock, such as llamas, to reduce the potential for repeated wolf depredation and wolf control. An electric fence was set up on one pasture and fladry was strung around another. Lethal control operations were ended on the 9th. Service LE was also in that area investigating reports that 2 more wolves were killed earlier this week. A pup was killed on the road there on July 20th.

The Large Carnivore Imitative for Europe has produced a position statement on hunting and lethal control of large carnivores. To view, please visit the LCIE publications page at http://largecarnivores.lcie.org/public.htm.

The weekly wolf report can be viewed at the Service's Region 6 web site at www.r6.fws.gov/wolf.

Contact: Ed Bangs (406)449-5225 or Internet - ED_BANGS@FWS.GOV


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