Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report
Week Oct 2 - Oct 8, 1999
Packs in the Yellowstone, central Idaho, and NW Montana areas are in their normal home ranges.
In NW Montana, we had an excellent summer field season. Diane Boyd-Heger and Tom Meier did a great job.
A special thanks to volunteers Keri Rodgers, Ed Heger, and Paul Frame for their assistance. This summer
there were 31 captures that resulted in collaring 17 wolves, with no mortalities. Fifteen of those 17
are still on the air which makes for 26 radio-collared wolves being monitored in NW Montana. That's
about one third of the estimated population. Congratulations to everyone for a fine job.
WS helped Service biologists look for wolves in the Lincoln, MT area. A couple of wolves that appeared
to have at least one pup with them killed a sheep herding dog in that area several weeks ago. If any
recent activity is located trapping and radio-collaring will be attempted.
Jimenez and Cox met with Dr. John Shivik (USDA Wildlife Services) near Jackson to test a prototype radio
signal activated siren device. Speaker attachments can reach way out there and music included
helicopters, gunshots, human activity and vehicles, and hopefully Star- Spangled Banner by J. Hendricks.
The device worked great but John commented that this type of device wouldn't work except in confined
areas, much smaller than the several hundred acre horse pasture they were evaluating. The rancher was
provided a receiver after the wolf first reportedly chased horses and hasn't heard any wolves or had any
The Sheep Mountain pack killed a calf on Sunday afternoon and the depredation was confirmed on Monday by
WS. The rancher did all the right things and quickly reported the carcass. On Wednesday the 6th, WS
removed 3 uncollared pack members, as instructed by the Service. Several wolves were jumped off the
calf carcass. After the helicopter arrived and a tough chase through timber, 3 were killed.
Unfortunately the 2 females and male were all young of the year. Hopefully disturbing the pack and
removing some of the food demands and the killing rate by adults may resolve the problem. This time of
year pups are approaching 70lbs and are easily confused with adults. However, livestock have been
reportedly chased since then and additional control of an adult male that was with the depredating
group may be implemented. The alpha female and other pack members were about 25 miles away when the
control action was conducted.
A rancher reported that a black wolf had about 25 of his horses (mixed yearlings and adults) backed up
against a cliff face and that some friends ran the wolf off. This occurred near Dailey Lake, in the
Sheep Mountain pack territory and no horses were injured. This incident happened about 3 hours after
the 3 wolves were shot in the Sheep Mountain pack.
The rancher who received permit to shoot depredating wolves on his ranch in Wyoming has reportedly not
seen any wolves on ranch property or found any suspected wolf-caused depredations.
Nothing new to report.
I & E
Fontaine and Dave Nelson (WS) gave presentations to about 20 advanced science students at Capital High
School this week.
Jimenez and Cox spent several days contacting hunters in the Dubois and Cody areas to ask for their
assistance to report wolf sightings and to remind them to be sure of their target before shooting any
coyotes. Grand Teton National Park provided wolf information to all hunters that had permits to assist
the Park with the elk reduction program.
Wyoming Special agents continue to travel the back-country south and east of Yellowstone National Park,
contacting guides and hunters about bear and wolf issues.
Two Dutch biologists, Marcel Huijer and Edgar van der Grift visited Helena and Yellowstone to learn about
the wolf program and large predator management. Large predators such as wolves and brown bears were
eliminated from Holland about 400-500 years ago.
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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