Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report
Week Aug 6 - Aug 13, 1999
Packs in the Yellowstone, central Idaho, and NW Montana areas are in their normal home ranges and
continue to be localized but are starting to move a little more with their pups.
The Teton pack female has found the road-kill ungulates left for her and has been feeding at the site.
Her 5 pups also appear to be doing well.
Soda Butte is generally in the area along the south boundary of Yellowstone National Park.
Work by Tribal crews continues to determine which packs have reproduced and the number of pups. However,
they couldn't verify whether the Kelly Creek, Selway and Snow Peak Packs have produced pups this year.
Trapping efforts for members of the Graves Creek pack in NW Montana have stopped because the pack could
not be found. Trapping will begin again if they are located in a favorable spot. Meier began searching
for the Little Wolf pack so members could be radio collared. He will begin trapping sometime next week.
In central Idaho 3 depredations have been reported. Several sheep were killed north of McCall, A calf
was killed near Stanely, and calves were killed west of Salmon. Another calf was found by the livestock
producer in the cattle mortality study and control on the Jureano Mountain pack is ongoing. To date no
wolves have been trapped. Heavy rains washed out several attempts to set traps in the location of the
Three of the Bass Creek pups being held in captivity with their mother because of livestock depredations
this summer were found dead in the pen. Disease is strongly suspected (parvo) and a veterinarian is
working on vaccinating the remaining 5 pups.
The Diamond Moose Calf Mortality study is an effort by many 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 Cooperators, 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 year's 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 year's work on the mortality investigation.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation funds are only available if matched by private funds.
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 couldn't accept the funds from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
I & E
Wolf Project Personnel from NPS, FWS, and WS met the 10th and 11th in Yellowstone National Park to
attend a safety and training course on animal capture from a helicopter. About a dozen people
attended the course. The training was excellent and included darting and netgunning from a helicopter
in simulated animal capture drills. Mike Coffey, NPS, and Gary Brennan of Hawkins and Powers
Helicopters did a great job. A wolf staff meeting was also held to discuss upcoming issues,
schedules, and program direction.
Justice Department attorneys where on a Conference call with Federal District Judge Downes of
Wyoming to update him on wolf recovery and control activities regarding the Diamond G Ranch case.
Attorneys representing the Diamond G Ranch were also on the August 12th call. The judge ordered
Bangs to meet with Diamond G Ranch manager Jon Robinette next week to try and figure out a solution.
There have been several meetings with cooperators of the calf mortality study to review the progress
of John Oakleaf's efforts. John, in a very short time, has established close communication with
members of the Diamond Moose Grazing Association regarding his efforts and findings. Effective,
clear communication and hard work, have been a key to his success to date.
Boyd-Heger gave a presentation at the Glacier Institute on the 4th and to a field ecology camp at
the Institute on the 6th.
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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