Idaho Wolf Update
December 11, 2001

Monitoring

Plans for helicopter capture are underway for January, 2002. Packs tentatively targeted are Gold Fork, Landmark, Moyer Basin, Orphan, Scott Mountain, Thunder Mountain, and Whitehawk Mountain.

As the wolf population continues to expand, an increased number of wolves will be uncollared compounding the difficult task of documenting formation of new packs. The Wolf Recovery Program relies on wolf sighting reports from the public to identify potential areas to survey for new wolf pack activity. Past reports of wolf activity that we have received have led to the documentation of the Wildhorse and Gold Fork packs. We would like to thank all those who have taken the time to report observed wolf activity and are hopeful that continued help from the public will result in confirmation of additional wolf packs. The Recovery Program encourages the public to report all sightings of wolves or their sign. Sightings can be reported to Isaac Babcock by mail at Nez Perce Tribe, P.O. Box 1922, McCall, ID 83638, or by phone at (208) 634-1061, or by email at isaacb@nezperce.org; or Carter Niemeyer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1387 S. Vinnell Way, Rm 368, Boise, ID 83709, (208) 378-5347.

North of the Salmon River

Panhandle, Clearwater, and Lolo National Forests

Marble Mountain. Due to inclement weather conditions, no monitoring flights have been conducted in the northern part of the state since the last update.

Kelly Creek. Due to inclement weather conditions, no monitoring flights have been conducted in the northern part of the state since the last update.

Big Hole. Due to inclement weather conditions, no monitoring flights have been conducted in the northern part of the state since the last update.

Lone/Paired Wolves. Due to inclement weather conditions, no monitoring flights have been conducted in the northern part of the state since the last update.

Nez Perce National Forest

Gospel Hump. B50 was most recently located on the north side of the Lola Creek drainage.

Selway. Both radio-collared wolves were found together in Selway River drainage.

South of the Salmon River

Payette National Forest

Chamberlain Basin. This pack has moved to the big game winter range within their home range.

Wolf Fang. Bad flying conditions prevented a search for this pack on the last monitoring flight.

Thunder Mountain. The Thunder Mountain pack was last located along the South Fork of the Salmon River.

Gold Fork. The Gold Fork pack was located near The Needles, approximately 15 miles east of Donnelly.

Lone/Paired Wolves. Bad flying conditions prevented a search for B45 and B105 on the last monitoring flight.

Boise National Forest

Orphan. Like last year, this pack has only 1 pup and will not count as a breeding pair for 2001. This group was located in the headwaters of the South Fork of the Salmon River.

Scott Mountain. Both adults, B78 and B115, were captured this summer, and were most recently located a few miles east of the town of Garden Valley, in a tributary draining into the Middle Fork of the Payette River.

Salmon-Challis National Forest

Landmark. B91 was located in a tributary to Rapid River, in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.

Jureano Mountain. Four of the radio-collared members of this pack were located north of the Iron Creek drainage. The other radio-collared wolf was in the Morgan Creek drainage.

Moyer Basin. Only B110 was found on the last flight. He was located along the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. The other radio-collared pack members could not be located.

Twin Peaks. This pack has used areas within their traditional home range inside the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.

Wildhorse. Two of the 3 radio-collared wolves were found in Muldoon Creek.

Lone/Paired Wolves. Dispersing Thunder Mountain wolf B58, has been sporadically located in the Copper Basin Area, though he has been missing since April.

B93 (Moyer Basin dispersing male) and B95 (Stanley Basin dispersing female) have potentially paired, and were located south of Bayhorse Lake during the last monitoring flight.

Sawtooth National Forest

Whitehawk. This pack continues to use areas within the Sawtooth Valley near Stanley, Idaho.

Bitterroot and Beaverhead National Forests

Lone/Paired Wolves. B80 (female) and B114 (male), a suspected pair, have not been searched for due to poor flying conditions. Their last location was in the Big Hole region of Montana. They will be closely monitored over the upcoming months because this region consists of privately owned land where livestock are wintered.

Former White Cloud pack wolf, B63 was relocated a second time along with his suspected mate B100, from the Big Hole, Montana. He was most recently located near Lost Trail Pass on the Idaho side of the Continental Divide in October. It is not known if he is still with B100, as she has not been located on the past 2 monitoring flights.

Dispersing wolf B67 was last located in the West Fork of the Bitterroot River drainage in October. Poor flying conditions prevented a monitoring flight. He was seen with another wolf early this summer. There is no indication of pups associated with these wolves.

Research

Nothing new to report.

Outreach, Information, Education, & Coordination

Project personnel attended the Wolf Manager Meeting in Helena, MT on September 25th. Each Restoration Area presented data on 2001 packs, reproduction, control and management, and other relevant topics.

Project personnel gave presentations in Olympia, WA on October 19th in conjunction with Wolf Awareness Week.

Project leader C. Mack gave 2 presentations on wolves for "Living With Carnivores" sessions in Lewiston and Moscow, ID on November 5th and 6th.

Project leader C. Mack participated in an annual Forest Service Rangeland Team meeting in Twin Falls, ID on November 14th.

Project biologist J. Holyan gave a presentation to 3 classes of freshmen students at the University of Idaho on November 28th concerning the Nez Perce Tribe's role in wolf management in Idaho.

Project personnel participated in an agency coordination meeting in Helena, MT on December 6th, but hazardous driving conditions related to the recent severe snowstorms prevented him from attending.

Management & Control

Most livestock have been removed from public allotments, hopefully bringing an end to wolf-livestock encounters for the year. Eight wolves were killed, 1 was relocated, and 6 radio-collared and released in connection with control actions during 2001. Wildlife Service's Wolf Specialist Rick Williamson has done a remarkable job spending much time and attention to monitoring wolves, working with affected livestock producers, and maintaining RAG boxes throughout the state.

No depredations have been recorded since the last report.








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