Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report
Week Nov 6 - Nov 12, 1999
Packs in the Yellowstone, central Idaho, and NW Montana are in their normal home ranges.
The Sheep Mountain pack remains split. The female was still by herself on the east side of the pack's
territory, while radio-collared male and at least another gray wolf were near Windy Pass on the far
western side of the pack's territory. The good news is both groups of wolves were high in the mountains
far from the Paradise Valley where recent depredations occurred and no new problems have been reported.
The Teton female was located with her 5 black pups near Towgotee pass, apparently headed back toward
Teton Park- because no adult male is in the pack it will likely not count as a breeding pair in 1999.
The Gros Ventre pack was seen in a large meadow and it consists of 2 dark colored pups, a light gray
adult ad 2 black adults- because it has 2 pups it will likely count as a breeding pair on December 31
when the determination of breeding pairs is made. It appears that there will be 9 breeding pairs
counted in the Yellowstone recovery area in 1999.
Information from monitoring flights and reports from the public indicate the potential for two new
breeding pairs. Dispersing Stanley Basin female wolf B38 and suspected mate appear to have settled
in the high rugged country of the headwaters of Big Creek, adjacent to the Chamberlain Basin pack to
the northeast and Thunder Mountain pack to the southeast. Dispersing Jureano female wolf B45 has
settled in the Secesh Summit area north of McCall, Idaho. We suspect she has been associating with
a group of 2-4 other wolves reported in the area. Tribal biologists will be monitoring these wolves
closely through the winter and spring months to assess pair bonding and reproduction. Relocated
Stanley Basin male wolf B68 was last located with the Twin Peaks pack. Project personnel will monitor
this wolf to determine if B68 continues to associate with the Twin Peaks pack. Dispersing Jureano
female wolf B46 was last located back in her natal pack's territory. The Jureano pack currently
consists of one subadult and two pups. B46's movements will be monitored with interest through the
winter months. Newly collared Twin Peaks pack pup B82 slipped its collar in early November. Newly
collared Selway pack pup B70 was found dead in early November. Her death is under investigation by
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Branch of Law Enforcement. Her carcass was retrieved and shipped
to the National Forensics Lab in Ashland, Oregon for necropsy.
Lone wolf B-64-M continues to use habitats along the Idaho side of the Bitterroot Mountains. He was
last located in the lower Brushy Fork drainage less than a mile from the Big Hole pack.
Lone wolf B-65-F, relocated from the White Cloud pack during a control action this spring, was last
located in the Elk Summit Area during June. She has not been located since last July. A weak radio
signal transmitted by her radio collar is hampering efforts to track this wolf.
Dispersing subadult male wolves B40 and B47 continue to travel together in the northwestern Sawtooth
Valley area northwest of Stanley, ID. They were last located in the lower Marsh Creek drainage.
B-68-M was relocated from the Stanley Basin pack, in response to livestock depredation earlier this
summer, to the Selway River drainage. He was located southwest of Darby Montana for several weeks
before radio contact was lost in late summer. He was relocated during the end of October with the
Twin Peaks pack.
Wolves will increasingly begin to disperse this winter and we anticipate an increase in new wolf pack
formation. Please report wolf sightings so that we can focus aircraft searches or track surveys this
On the 8th a cow was reportedly attacked and killed, possibly by wolves, near Polson, MT. WS
investigated and found the calf was killed by a predator but wounds were not typical of wolves. Dog
tracks were found on site. Two large Rotwieller dogs were located at the site the next morning.
They were captured and held for the local animal control officer.
The Service and Idaho Wildlife Services are currently attempting to capture a "wolf like canid", of
unknown origin and status, responsible for killing one guard dog pup and up to 8 ewes and injuring 2
adult guard dogs and 3 ewes. The depredations have occurred on leased private lands near Soda Springs,
Idaho. It is not known whether the canid is a wolf or a wolf dog hybrid. Lethal control has been
A new book "Carnivores in Ecosystems: the Yellowstone Experience" 429 pages, edited by Tim
Clark, Peyton Curlee, Steve Minta, and Peter Kareiva was just published by Yale University Press. The
book has articles on Yellowstone wolves (by Doug Smith, W. Brewster and E. Bangs) as well as papers on a
host of other carnivores in the Yellowstone area.
The Diamond Moose Calf Mortality Study is winding down its first field season. Graduate student John
Oakleaf will be heading to the University of Idaho campus to analyze the information collected this
summer and prepare the year end report. The second year of the study will be initiated next spring.
I & E
Several people from the Jackson Wyoming area asked about donating to help monitor wolves or fund
research projects. An account was set up with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in 1994 to
accept and distribute private funds. Donations for wolf monitoring, research, or education can be send
to this fund with instructions how the money should be used. For instance, funding donated for
monitoring wolves near Jackson, WY will only be used for purchasing radio-collars, telemetry receivers,
or paying for monitoring flights to monitor the Teton, Gros Ventre, or any other new packs that live
near the town of Jackson, WY. Donations to reduce wolf-livestock conflict could be used to purchase
light or siren scaring devices, or support other noninjurious methods of preventing livestock or pet
damage by wolves. People who provide donations will be informed how and when their contribution was
used. Interested people should send donations to: Yellowstone Wolf Fund, National Fish and Wildlife
Foundation, 1120 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20036, with instructions how you would like
your contribution to be used. This form of additional funding can greatly contribute to obtaining more
accurate information about wolves than the recovery program can normally afford to conduct. Monitoring
information can help reduce the chance for conflict between people and wolves- often saving the life
Diane Boyd will give a presentation at the Glacier Institute in Whitefish on the 13th to discuss wolves
in Glacier National Park and the affect of the severe winter of 1996/97 on wolf numbers throughout
northwestern Montana. Diane also had an article published in the Fall edition of Silvertip Tracks,
a publication of the Brown Bear Resources, Inc. on the same topic.
Apparently, while searching for information on Yellowstone wolves a professor came across a web site
for NOVA television featuring information about wolves and the Yellowstone recovery program and an
interview with Bangs. Access was www.pbs.org.nova.wgbh/nova/wolves
The Service (Fontaine) will hold 6:30PM meetings in Kalispell (MT FW&P) on the 16th, and Condon
(Community Center) on the 18th to discuss the status of wolf recovery and a recent revision of the
Service's Wolf Control Plan that directs wolf management to reduce livestock conflicts in northwestern
Montana. The planned relocation of the Bass Creek female (originally from NW MT) and her 5 pups that
have been held in captivity in central Idaho since June, back into northwestern Montana will also be
Idaho Project personnel participated in the Idaho State Legislative Wolf Oversight Committee meeting
in Boise, Idaho. They also participated in a cooperators meeting to coordinate field activities for the
upcoming winter season of the wolf and cougar predation studies in Big Creek and Panther Creek.
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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