Packs in the Yellowstone, central Idaho, and NW Montana areas appear to be
in their normal home ranges. During the week of the 23rd, 2 new pairs were located
together just north of Jackson, WY. Female #24 (which was one of the yearlings that was removed
from the Soda Butte area north of Yellowstone National Park in 1996 to enhance wolf
survival) and male 133 (from the now defunct Washakie pack) have been located together near
Towgetee Pass near Buffalo Valley. Female 129 from the Thorofare pack was located south of
Jackson Lake and has been travelling with 2 other wolves, one believed to be male #29 (which
shed his collar several weeks ago) from the old Nez Perce group. Time will tell if these wolves
breed and/or stay south of the Park. Interest in the Jackson area is high and Grand Teton Park and
several volunteers are watching the wolves closely.
Fontaine recovered the radiocollar from the male Boulder yearling on the
23rd. The collar was in a clearcut, and looked as if it just slipped off. We will locate the
Boulder male as soon as weather permits to see if other wolves are still travelling with him.
Poor weather conditions have hindered flying and relocation efforts.
Audubon magazine (Nov-Dec issue) selected Kurt Mack as one of the top 100
conservationists of this century because of his efforts to restore river otters, wolves, and
grizzly bears to central Idaho. Congratulations Curt it is a rare honor to be named alside,
Theodore Roosevelt, Edward O Wilson, Jacques CousteauJohn Muir, etc. Audubon also named wolves as one
of the top ten creatures "we saved" this century.
Bangs, Smith, and Jimenez gave presentations at the Defenders of Wildlife
"Restore the Wolf" Conf. in Seattle Nov 12-14. About 250 people attended.
Bangs gave a presentation to about 50 students at an Issues in Wildlife class at the
University of Montana on the 1st. Bangs and Murphy gave presentations at the Wyoming
Chapter of The
Wildlife Society in Casper on the 2nd and 3rd. About 50 biologists from
around the state attended. Mike Jimenez, the Service's new wolf project leader for Wyoming,
attended. He and Bangs also visited the Wyoming Woolgrower and Stockgrower Annual meeting
between the 2 meetings, met many of the agency and private group representatives involved
with wolf issues in Wyoming.
A manuscript entitled "Status of gray wolf restoration in Montana, Idaho,
and Wyoming" by Bangs, Fritts, Fontaine, Smith, Murphy, Mack and Niemeyer was completed and
accepted for publication in The Wildlife Society Bulletin. It should be printed this winter (February).
The selections for the Wyoming and Montana wolf biologists jobs were
finalized. Soon to be Dr. Mike Jimenez (Mike's MS involved studying wolves in SE B.C. His
dissertation studied wolf/whitetailed deer/livestock interactions near Missoula, Montana) was
selected for the Wyoming Project leader. Mike has about 15 years experience with wolf
issues in the western U.S. The Wyoming biologist position was filled by Brian Cox. Brian has a
wildlife BS, an MS in Agriculture. After serving as an officer in the military, Brian managed
the wildlife/livestock program for a ranch in Texas, and spent several years at the Starkey
Wildlife Research Center in Oregon. He was working as the lead wildlife biologist for large private
timber company in Oregon. Mike and Brian should be in their new office (along side the USFWS
office run by Dave Skates) in Lander the first week of January.
Dr. Diane Boyd-Heger (Diane's MS involved studying the first wolf in
Glacier National Park and coyote interactions, her Ph.D involved the genetics, dispersal, and
landscape use of wolves in NW Montana) and Dr. Tom Meier (Tom's Ph.D involved a wolf ecology study in
Denali National Park in Alaska) were selected for the 2 wildlife biologist
positions in Helena, Montana. They both have at least 15 years experience working on wolf conservation in
various parts of North America and Europe. Both have worked as wolf depredations control
experts for USDA Wildlife Services.
Thank you to all those that applied for those position. Competition was
extreme. Over 150 applications were received for each one of these jobs. many very highly
qualified applicants did not make the final cut simply because of the highly competitive field of
Please help with wolf monitoring efforts by reporting suspected wolf
observations. If you are out hunting and see wolf sign please us know! Reclassification, and the
resulting increased management flexibility that would result from a threatened status depends
upon the number of documented breeding pairs. PLEASE REPORT WOLF SIGHTINGS ASAP. THANKS!!
The weekly wolf report can now be viewed at the Service's Region 6 web site at http://www.r6.fws.gov/wolf