Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report

Week of Sept 30 - Oct 6, 1996

Monitoring

The Soda Butte pack (3 adults and 2 pups) was released from the Trail Creek pen (south end of Yellowstone Lake) on October 7. The pups (M-65 lbs. and F- 55 lbs) had been radio-collared, vaccinated, and examined on the 4th.

The wolves in Yellowstone (both the 12 in the Rose Creek pen and those that are free-ranging) are doing great. The Leopold, Rose, Crystal, and Druid packs are still in the Lamar Valley area. The Chief Joseph pair was in the Hayden Valley. Wolf #27 (Nye female) was back at Reeves pond (near Nye). The new formed pair (male #15 from the Nez Perce pen [Soda Butte] and the free- ranging yearling female #26) were in the Park's SE corner. The Lone Star male and yearling Nez Perce female were on the Shoshone National Forest, 15 SE of Yellowstone Lake. The female from the Druid Peak pack rejoined the pack in the Lamar Valley. The Nez Perce alpha male last located by Quake Lake, and the only wolf by itself, was not located on the Oct.4 flight.

Efforts in Idaho are focusing on putting people in the field to talk to hunters and other people that are outdoors during the general elk and deer hunting season that opens October 10th. Hopefully, public observations will help determine the number of litters that were born in Idaho this year. Movement patterns of 10 to 11 pairs or groups that have been traveling together appear to be more localized than the 7 lone wolves that continue to move widely throughout central Idaho. Ten breeding pairs may be present in central Idaho next year.

The 4 pups left in the Sawtooth area of NW Montana appear to be doing fine, and appear to be surviving by scavenging on carrion. They seem to be moving back and forth between the old den site and the rendezvous site where their siblings were captured. There was a good report that the Boulder pack (as many as 9) is back in its old territory NE of Deer Lodge. We are attempting to get permission to enter the private lands in the area and radio-collar a couple this winter.

Livestock Depredations & Management (control)

The pair of wolves in the Big Hole, MT area (released in 1995) apparently killed a calf on about the 2nd. ADC and the Nez Perce Tribe will catch and move them as soon as possible. Reports indicate that an unradio-collared wolf may be with them. It will be captured and radio-collared first if possible. If it is really an uncollared wild wolf, it could be a pup from this year or last year, or even a naturally dispersing wolf from NW Montana. Its origin may never be known.

Research

The Nez Perce Tribe is beginning to analyze data and begin writing the annual report. The Tribes next quarterly newsletter should be out in the next week or two. The Service, Park, ADC, and Tribe are writing or presenting papers at the Nov. 14-16 Albany, NY, Defenders of Wildlife, Wild Wolf Conference.

Information, Education & Law Enforcement

Bangs was in D.C. this week. He briefed the Service Director and staff and several Congressional staffs on wolf recovery. The need to recover and then follow through on delisting wolf populations was emphasized. The meetings were primarily informational and appeared to go well. The weekly report is read by a surprisingly wide variety of people, including the Director and many Congressional staffs. So if you want your efforts to be part of these reports, please get our ideas to me by noon, Monday of each week.

A wolf recovery "thank you" party/fund raiser and book signing (book by Call of the Wild Foundation on the Yellowstone reintroduction) (invitation only and $50 per plate) is being scheduled by the Call of the Wild Foundation, National Wildlife Federation and Yellowstone Association. It will be held at the Gallatin Gateway Hotel on November 1. Call Yellowstone National Park for details.

A "Wolf and Wapiti" film from Canada was completed. It included footage from the reintroduction. Two courtesy copies are on the way to Bangs.

The National Wildlife Federation/Turner Broadcasting wolf reintroduction film will be broadcast on the evening of Sunday, November 3 on TBS. Rumors indicate it has beautiful photography and is entertaining.

The weekly wolf report can now 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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