Idaho Wolf Update
November 15 1999

Gray wolves identified in these updates are referenced as B-XX-Y. The B identifies the wolf as a central Idaho animal, numbers identify individuals, and the Y indicates male (M) or female (F).

Monitoring

Wolf packs in Idaho continue to remain within their respective territories. 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.

Monitoring

North of the Salmon River

Panhandle, Clearwater, and Lolo National Forests

The Snow Peak pack, including collared alpha female B-20-F and dispersing Wyoming wolf R132, continues to move within the upper St. Joe and North Fork of the Clearwater drainages. They traveled within the upper North Fork of the Clearwater, upstream of the Cedars campground, for much of the month of October. Most recently, the Snow Peak pack was located within upper tributary drainages of the St. Joe River.

The Kelly Creek pack including alpha wolves B-15-F and 9013-M continues to travel within the Kelly Creek drainage. This pack continues to be somewhat scattered throughout their home range. For much of the month of October, this pack has concentrated their movements in the lower Kelly Creek drainage centered around the Hanson Meadow area. Recently, three collared members of this pack traveled into the upper Cache Creek area. Subadult wolf B48 has not been located since August and we suspect this wolf has dispersed.

The Big Hole pack including alpha wolves B-11-F and B-07-M continued to frequent usual areas within their home range during much of October. During early November, the pack traveled further west than previously located. This pack was most recently located around the mouth of Brushy Fork.

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.

Lone wolf B-52-M has not been located since last fall.

Nez Perce National Forest

The Selway pack, including alpha wolves B-05-M and B10-F, was last located in the Boston Mountain area southeast of Elk City, Idaho.

South of the Salmon River

Payette National Forest

Members of the Bass Creek pack (alpha female and 5 pups) continue to do well in captivity. All wolves appear to be healthy with no further signs of canine parvovirus. The Idaho Wolf Recovery Program will work cooperatively with The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to relocate this pack to the wild in northwest Montana around the end of the year.

The Chamberlain Basin pack including alpha wolves B-09-M and B-16-F continues to move extensively throughout their home range. During October and November, this pack has been located from Mosquito Ridge, east to Cold Meadows.

B-38-F, a dispersing female subadult wolf from the Stanley Basin pack, continues to concentrate her movements in the upper Big Creek area, adjacent to the southwestern edge of Chamberlain Basin. She was most recently located in the Pinnacles area.

The Thunder Mountain pack including alpha female wolf B-22-F and her mate of unknown origin continue to use usual areas of their home range. After spending much of September in the Meadow Ridge area south of Yellow Pine, Idaho, the Thunder Mountain pack has been located in the Lookout Mountain area for much of October and November. This pack has been located in the upper Marble Creek, upper Rush Creek and tributaries to lower Monumental Creek drainages.

B-45-F continues to concentrate her movements in the Secesh Summit area. She was last located in the Loon Creek drainage.

Boise National Forest

Lone wolf B-28-M has traveled extensively in the Bear Valley area during late September and early October. He was located within a quarter of a mile of B-61-F in Bear Valley during early October. These two wolves spent much of last winter and spring traveling together. Neither B28 or B61 were located on the last monitoring flight.

B-61-F was most recently located within a quarter of a mile from her old associate B-28-M in the Bear Valley area. She was not located during the last monitoring flight.

The Landmark pack, including wolf B-33-M, continues to concentrate their activities within the sulphur Creek drainage and surrounding areas.

Salmon-Challis National Forest

The surviving members of the Jureano Mountain pack continue to use area within the Napias and Moose Creek drainages just west of Salmon, ID. They have most recently been located on the west side of the Moose drainage.

Jureano Mountain subadult wolf B-46-F has been loosely associated with the pack since this winter and may be in the process of dispersing. She has been frequently located south of the Jureano pack's territory in the Iron and Hat Creek drainages, tributaries to the Salmon River between Challis and Salmon, ID. Interestingly, she recently returned to the Jureano Mountain pack's territory and was most recently located in the Napias Creek area. Project personnel will continue to monitor B46's movements to determine her interactions with the remaining members of her natal pack.

The Moyer Basin pack including alpha female B-37-F and wolf B-49-M concentrated their movements in the Red Rock Ridge area during the month of October using tributaries to the Yellowjacket and upper Panther Creek drainages.

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. Project personnel will continue to monitor movements of this wolf to determine his association with the Twin Peaks pack.

The Twin Peaks pack including alpha wolves B-35-F and B-18-M concentrated their activities in the Bay Horse Lake area for much of October. They were last located in the head of Garden Creek.

Sawtooth National Forest

The Stanley Basin pack including wolf pair B-23-F and B-27-M continues to use areas of the southeastern end of the Sawtooth Valley. Most recently, collared members of this pack have been scattered between Pole Creek and Fisher Creek drainages.

The White Cloud pack including alpha female wolf B-36-F has concentrated their activities around the Little Boulder and Boulder Creek drainages for most of the month of October.

Research

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.

The Idaho Wolf Recovery Program would like to thank all of you who helped make this study a reality and success this summer. We would like to thank the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Salmon Challis National Forest, Defenders of Wildlife, Lemhi Cattle and Horse Growers Association, Lemhi County, and the Idaho State Department of Agriculture for their financial and in kind contributions to the study. We appreciate the cooperative spirit which has made this study possible and would like to thank all the members of the Diamond Moose Association, Chuck Overacker, Jack Ellis, Terry Hershey, and Bob Loukes for their commitment to the study and continued on the ground oversight this summer. The study could not have been accomplished without the dedicated and hard working efforts of the field crews. A special thanks to John Oakleaf and Wildlife Technician Cynthia Wolf for a job well done. The Recovery Program would especially like to thank Jack Ellis, Sally Foss, Jim Moorhead, Bill Rector, Jim Smith, and Jim Wiley for volunteering their time to assist John on the study. The study would not be possible without your committed and hard work. Again, thank you and hope to see you next summer.

Outreach

Project personnel participated in a year end Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery coordination meeting in Helena, Montana. Project Personnel participated in the Idaho State Legislative Wolf Oversight Committee meeting in Boise, Idaho. Project personnel 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.

Control

No confirmed wolf depredations have occurred since the last report.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife 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 authorized.








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