Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report
Week Oct 23 - Oct 29, 1999
Packs in the Yellowstone, central Idaho, and NW Montana are in their normal home ranges.
Tom Meier and Kent Laudman, a volunteer who had been working for the Nez Perce Tribe, concluded
trapping efforts around Lincoln, MT. Three wolves are still being reported in the general area but
none were captured.
A sick cow died on the Diamond G Ranch and had been fed on slightly. WS determined the carcass did not
have obvious sign of wolf attack, no wolf sign was found near the carcass and little feeding had occurred,
but it was possible that a wolf could have been involved primarily because the ranch manager reported he
saw wolves near the carcass. An attempt to fly the carcass early in the morning with a fixed-wing
aircraft was unsuccessful because of poor weather but ground observations did not locate any wolf
activity- only coyotes. Traps were set in the area and will be monitored for a week to see if wolves
could be attracted to the carcass.
A 500-600 pound calf was killed by the Sheep Mountain pack on the 25th, the second confirmed depredation
by this pack. Four wolves were removed because of the first confirmed depredation and because of many
previous instances of the pack hunting, chasing, and possibly killing livestock. The carcass was
located by the rancher and WS confirmed the calf was killed by wolves. The Sheep Mountain pack was
located nearby the next day. The calf was killed on private land in the bottom of main Paradise Valley.
The Service directed WS to remove 2 uncollared wolves, adult or yearling pack members, if possible.
Poor weather was hampered control efforts which are ongoing. The pack now consists of a collared adult
female and yearling male, 3 young of the year, and 5 uncollared yearlings and adults. Reducing pack
size and the numbers of adults will hopefully reduce the pack's energy demands and stop further
livestock depredations by this pack.
Two informative articles about wolves in Montana were just published in the Journal of Wildlife
Management, 1999 Vol 63(4). "Species-specific population dynamics of cervids in a multipredator
ecosystem" was authored by Kyran Kunkle and Dan Pletscher (page 1082). "Characteristics of dispersal
in a colonizing wolf population in the central Rocky Mountains" was authored by Diane Boyd and Dan
Pletscher (page 1094).
I & E
Representatives from the Service, Nez Perce Tribe, and National Park Service met in Helena on the 28th
and 29th to discuss wolf monitoring and research efforts. The meeting was held as a year- end wrap-up
session on those aspects of the recovery program and to focus on next year's efforts.
Bangs gave a lecture at the University of Montana on the 26th to about 40 students in a wildlife issues
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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