Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report
Weeks of November 30 - December 15, 2002
NEW WEB ADDRESS - See
http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov/ for maps of wolf pack locations and home ranges, tables of wolf numbers
and depredations, and summaries of scientific studies.
On the 4th, a coyote trapper in the Paradise Valley (N. Of Yellowstone Park) caught a yearling male from
the Lone Bear pack, which is believed to have 11 members. NPS staff helped Fontaine radio-collar and
release it on site. This new pack now has three collared members. A thanks to the local trapper for his
efforts to help out and to NPS staff.
On the 30th, a coyote trapper SW of Ogden, UT caught #253 a black male radio-collared wolf. He put it in
a dog kennel and gave it to the local UT DNR warden, who gave it water, food, and made sure it was in good
condition. On the 2nd, Jimenez picked the wolf up, replaced its radio collar and released it in Grand
Teton National Park. The wolf was a 2 year-old from the Druid pack and was traveling with another wolf in
UT. He has remained in the GYA. Another gray wolf was accidentally caught a week later but it pulled out
just as the warden attempted to immobilize it. This issue was a major national news story. The Service's
policy on wolves that leave the experimental population areas is they will be handled on a case by case
basis. They generally will be left alone if they aren't doing anything wrong, killed if they attack
livestock, and in rare situations like this where they happen to be in captivity, they may be returned to
MT, ID, or WY, whichever is closest. The experimental rules 7(iii)(A-D) recognized lone wolves would
disperse outside the experimental areas and gave the Service clear legal authority to actively manage
The Service is once again asking for help from big game hunters in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming during the
big-game hunting season. Please report any sightings of wolf activity to the nearest U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, state Fish and Game Agency, Forest Service, BLM, Tribal, or USDA Wildlife Services office. We
thank everyone for their cooperation.
Livestock Depredations & Management (control)
A livestock producer near Dubios, WY still has a shoot on site permit on private property. Wolves have
repeatedly visited his horses that are in a corral near his house. No wolves have been taken to date.
Two wolves killed a ram on a ranch near Pray, MT. The radioed female of the Mill Creek pack was some
distance away with several other members but it is suspected other pack members were involved. They
traveled past fladry and a RAG box to kill the sheep on private land. This ranch has had at least three
separate depredations this fall. A kill order was issued to WS to shoot 2 wolves on or near that property,
likely from the ground.
The Nov. 15 to Dec. 15 wolf predation rate winter study in Yellowstone National Park just ended. Wolves
are tracked daily from the ground and air to determine kill rates. The Druid pack (8 wolves) killed a
bison and 10 elk. The Geode pack (8 wolves) made 9 elk kills. The Leopold pack (15 wolves) made 10 elk
kills. The elk kills were equally split between bulls, cows, and calves. The overall kill rate was typical
of the early winter study (10 ungulates per pack for the 30 day period), but the percentage of bulls killed
this fall was higher than normal.
Information, Education & Law Enforcement
On Dec. 5th and 6th, Bangs gave a presentation and attended People and Wildlife: Conflict or Coexistence?
This international conference was attended by nearly 250 experts throughout the world to look at ways to
reduce conflicts between people and wildlife, while conserving rare species. On the 7th, Bangs and Dr.
John Linnell gave presentations to about 100 members of the UK Wolf Conservation Trust just outside London.
After their talks and lunch they participated in a "wolf walk", where members get to hike through
the English forest with 3 captive European wolves on leashes. About 25 people walked on our session and it
was extremely interesting.
The Utah wolf management "plan" developed by students at Utah State University can be seen at
WY Special Agent Eicher, gave a presentation on wolves and the relationship of the WY state wolf plan to
the delisting process to the WY Outfitters and Guides annual convention on Dec. 6th. About 40 people
attended. On the 9th, he gave a presentation to the Cody Archery Club and about 18 people attended. Thanks
On the 11th, Jimenez gave a presentation to about 20 people at the Wyoming, Park County Predator Board. On
the 12th, he talked with nearly 25 National Elk Refuge sled drivers and interpreters in Jackson, WY.
Radioed female yearling wolf #276, one of the 03/01 relocated Parsnip wolves, was reportedly mistaken for
coyote and shot on December 13th. She has been traveling alone on the Blackfeet Tribal lands for the past
year or so. The hunter said he was trying to get a coyote pelt for his traditional dance costume. Once he
realized he had shot a wolf he immediately reported the killing. It is under LE investigation.
The carcass of a 2-3 year-old female wolf #134, from the Jureano pack was recovered. The initial analysis
indicates she was illegally shot on National Forest land west of Salmon, ID. The Service is offering a
reward up to $5,000 for information leading to a conviction. Female wolf #67 was located on mortality
mode in the West Fork of the Bitterroot on November 30. The carcass of the female wolf was retrieved by
FWP and LE on the 5th. The death is under investigation.
The carcass of a young adult male wolf was recovered south of Cayuga, South Dakota. It appears to have been
shot and its death is under LE investigation. A reward is being offered.
Call for papers: Papers are now being accepted for the 2003 North American Interagency Wolf Conference,
April 8 - 10, 2003 at Chico Hot Springs, Pray, MT. Please submit a one page single spaced abstract which
includes your full contact information, affiliations, and authors, by email to Joseph Fontaine at
Joseph_Fontaine@fws.gov. Topics include, but are not limited
to, wolf biology and conservation, conflict management, predator and prey relationships, law enforcement,
forensics, population status, state wolf management planning, national wolf reclassification and delisting,
ethics, environmental education, and public outreach. Please submit a digital picture related to your
research or topic to include in the agenda and on the website. We can also scan images sent by mail.
Registration for the conference will begin November 1, 2002 and you may contact Suzanne Laverty at
SLaverty@defenders.org for details.
The weekly wolf report can 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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