Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report

Week of Oct 28 - Nov 3, 1997

Monitoring

All Yellowstone wolf packs remain localized within their normal home ranges. Five adults and 1 pup that were in the Nez Perce pen, but escaped, were recaptured on the 25th and returned to the pen. The male escaped from the pen shortly thereafter. The other 5 wolves are still in the pen and the male is hanging around the pen. The outside electric fence is active and the male has not attempted to dig under the fence. The plan is to keep wolves by the pen by releasing a member of the group every month until all are released by February.

Twenty-three of the reintroduced wolves in central Idaho are in 12 pairs or packs. At least 30-32 pups in 6 breeding pairs were documented this year. They are staying in their traditional home ranges. The presence of a yearling wolf in the Kelly Creek pack suggests that a wolf from NW Montana dispersed into the area and joined that pack. Coincidently, the pack uses both sides of the Idaho experimental area boundary along the Idaho/Montana border SW of Missoula, MT.

The Service's field crew is writing up their final reports and storing equipment for the season. John, Doug, and Colleen's last day will be the 8th. Amy left several weeks ago. This crew did a great job!!! We plan to hire up to 6 biologists next field season. Selections will be made before April 1. Interested people should let us know their address before January 1- via LETTER! We will contact them when the application period is open. Minimum requirements are B.S. Wildlife Management or equivalent and since there are so many applicants, some form of hands-on field experience will likely be needed to be competitive.

Livestock Depredations & Management (control)

The female and 5 pups from the Washakie Pack have stayed together but are reportedly chasing cattle. Only cows are left on the ranch and they are being shipped now. There will be an attempt this winter to place a couple more collars in the pack by helicopter capture.

Wolf #63 returned to the Fishtail ranch and killed another sheep on about the 25th. She was killed by Wildlife Services on the 28th.

The total livestock depredations this year (hope they are over) are: NW Montana 14 cattle and 30 sheep: Idaho 0 cattle and 10 sheep: Yellowstone area 4 cattle and 67 sheep. This is the worst year on record and is probably due to the severe winter last year because of fewer natural prey (Minnesota was the worst also), more wolves, and relocation of problem wolves (all depredated again).

Research

The Nez Perce tribe will host the research meeting on wolf/livestock.ungulate/wolf and human dimensions in Idaho in mid-January. The meeting had been planned for earlier this year but the field season and other duties forced it to be postponed.

Information, Education & Law Enforcement

The Nez Perce tribe is meeting with hunters, guides, and outfitters in the field as part of their outreach program during the hunting season.

Bangs has talks at the Seattle Zoo on November 7, Big Timber, MT on the 11th, Univ. Calif., Davis on the 19th and 20th, Kalispell, MT on the 24th, and Univ.of Montana on the 25th. Bangs and Dr. Smith did interviews for a CNN program on wolves that should air about the 7th.

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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