Idaho Wolf Update
August 12 1999

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).

Monitoring

During this time of year wolf packs are generally not moving great distances and the locations of packs has not changed greatly from the last report.

Work by Tribal crews continues to emphasize determining which packs have reproduced and how many pups they have had. While we have tried again to spend time close to the Kelly Creek, Selway and Snow Peak Packs we have been unable to verify whether they have had pups or not or how many they have had. We have been informed, that an educational tour being led by staff of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game saw the Landmark Pack pups. We are in the process of confirming this report.

Research

The Diamond Moose Calf Mortality study is an effort by a large number of Cooperators to determine what is happening to the calves that do not return from the Diamond Moose Grazing allotment at the end of the summer season. The Nez Perce Tribe wanted to use scientific methods to determine what is happening to the calves and to identify potential ways to reduce the losses once the causes are determined. The Cooperators came together and through a series of meetings, agreed on the outline of the investigation and began the search for the funds needed to support the project. While the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Salmon-Challis National Forest were large, early, financial contributors to this effort the Nez Perce Tribe was still unable to secure all the funds needed to finish the first year of the investigation. Then, in response to requests by the Nez Perce Tribe, several smaller, private donations were made by the Wolf Education and Research Center, the Lemhi County Cattleman's Association, the National Wildlife Federation and the Defenders of Wildlife. The Idaho Congressional delegation, at the urging of several of the Cooperators (not any of the federal agencies), and with the support of Governor Kempthorne urged the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to find the funds needed to fund the remainder this years effort. Director Clark informed the Congressional delegation that there were no new funds available in FY99 to dedicate to the investigation. At the urging of the Idaho Cattleman's Association and the Nez Perce Tribe, Senators Larry Craig and Mike Crapo and Representative Mike Simpson requested the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation consider getting involved in supporting the Diamond Moose Calf Mortality Study. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, based on a request by the Nez Perce Tribe has awarded the $20,000 needed to complete this years work on the mortality investigation.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation funds are only available if matched by private funds on a minimum of a one to one basis. Thus, the private funds contributed to date have, in essence, been doubled. Without the financial support of the investigation Cooperators and other supporters contributing private funds to this effort the Nez Perce Tribe would not have been able to accept the funds from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Outreach

Calf Mortality Investigation. There have been several meetings in and around the study area among the Cooperators to review the progress of John Oakleaf's efforts. John, in a very short time, has established close communications with members of the Diamond Moose Grazing Association regarding his efforts and findings. Effective, clear communication and hard work, has been a key to his success to date.

Control

B-30 which died last fall, has been retrieved and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Law Enforcement personnel are investigating the death. Heavy snow accumulations last winter defeated earlier attempts to retrieve the carcass.

A control action was implemented on the Jureano Pack (8/5/99) following the determination by Wildlife Services staff that a calf found by one of the alottees was killed by wolves. No wolves have been captured as of 8/10/99 in association with this control action.

A control action has been implemented near Stanley (8/8/99) based on the determination by Wildlife Services staff that a calf found by the owner was killed by wolves.

A control action has been implemented north of McCall (8/9/99) based on the determination by Wildlife Services staff that wolves killed 25 lambs and one adult sheep. Other animals were mauled and additional mortalities from this incident are expected from past experience.

A dead, wolf-like canid was found beside a state highway. The carcass has been turned over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Law Enforcement staff for further investigation.

Three of the Bass Creek pups have died as a result of a Parvo outbreak in their enclosure. Parvo has an incubation time of four to eight days. The first pup died on 7/31/99. It is not known how long it was sick. The remainder of the pups have been observed repeatedly and have suffered no ill effects. The diagnosis of the problem was handled by a local Veterinarian who sent tissue samples from the necropsy he performed to the Animal Disease Diagnostics Laboratory at the Washington State Veterinary Hospital. To confirm the diagnosis the Lab examined tissue samples and when that proved inconclusive an electron microscope was used to pinpoint the cause of death of the pups.. The Veterinarian received the diagnosis 8/11/99 from Washington State University.

The recommendation of the Veterinarian in consultation with Dr. Johnson, who was involved with establishing and implementing disease protocols for the wolves transplanted from Canada to the United States, is to vaccinate the remaining pups and the alpha female if possible. The Veterinarian also has recommended a review of procedures to limit vectors that may introduce diseases to the pack. Both recommendations will be implemented in the very near future.








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