Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report

Week of Nov 26 - Dec 2, 1996

Monitoring

Poor weather has hampered monitoring but the Rose Creek, Leopold, Druid, and Crystal Bench packs remain in the northern part of the Park. Female #27 and her pups remain south of Fishtail, MT. Female wolf #39, who has made several long trips north of the Park has not been located in about 2 weeks (last location was along the Boulder River on the Gallatin Forest). The other lone wolf, #28, (#39's former mate) was located in the Park near Tower Junction. The two pair and Soda Butte pack that have been in the southern part of the Park have not been located in about 2 weeks. The Chief Joseph pair remain near Swan Lake Flats in the Park. About 35 wolves are in the Park, 5 are outside the Park and 12 remain in captivity.

Most wolves in Idaho and northwest Montana have not been located due to continued poor flying weather.

Livestock Depredations & Management (control)

Monitoring of the Big Hole pair, near Wisdom, MT (Idaho experimental area) indicates that they spent most of their time in the timber and not near livestock. They did kill a cow elk out in a sagebrush opening but we weren't able to line out a capture crew and helicopter in time to try to capture them. We may have to try snaring or something else if their movement patterns don't change.

Research

Nothing new to report.

Information, Education & Law Enforcement

The Justice Department recommended a settlement with Mr. Gene Hussey, the Idaho rancher who had a wolf feed on the carcass of a dead calf on his private land. He believed the calf was killed by the wolf and he wanted compensation for the calf. The wolf was shot and killed by unknown persons as, or shortly after, it fed on the calf in early 1995. While the initial investigation, which included a local veterinarian, indicated the wolf may have killed the calf, a necropsy by the Service's Ashland, Oregon lab proved the calf died shortly after birth and prior to the wolf feeding on it. Part of the controversy resulted from the site being trampled by local residents, including the local sheriff, who conducted their own "investigation" prior to contacting the Service. The settlement language will read something like "This settlement ($440) is for the sole purpose of avoiding time-consuming and expensive litigation. The payment by the United States is specifically payment for litigation expenses incurred by Mr. Gene Hussey"

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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