Idaho Wolf Update (long version)

6/8/96.

Here is a detailed supplement to my article about the new Idaho
wolves that I posted on the page yesterday. You may want to compare
it to my Idaho updates of April 16 and May 10.

The Nez Perce tribal wolf recovery team conducted three series of
tracking flights in May. The last flight ended on May 26. No pups
were observed, but bad weather conditions dominated the month,
hindering close observation.

WOLF PAIRS
The following wolves were reported as paired (the reader will notice
that many of these pairs have existed for a long time):
B5 + B10, B6 + B8, B7 + B11, B9 + B16, B15 + unknown wolf,
B29 + B37, B34 + B35. The later two are pairs formed from among
four of the 20 new wolves reintroduced in 1996.

WOLVES NOT LOCATED
The following were not located in May: B2, B17. B22, B23, B27.
This is not surprising given the generally bad weather. All the wolves were located in April.

Last month it was reported that B24 and B27 may have paired. This is
still a possibility.

GENERAL MOVEMENTS OF THE WOLVES
Most of the wolves remained in, or near, the two great central Idaho
Wilderness areas -- the Selway/Bitterroot and the Frank Church/River
of No Return Wilderness.

There was a slight drift of wolves toward the west and the southwest
and a drift away from the mountains near Challis, Idaho. Quite a few
wolves were located on the Boise National Forest and the Payette
National Forest somewhat to the west and southwest of the "Frank
Church." They were in roadless or semi-roadless areas not frequented
by many people in May.

MOVEMENTS OF SPECIFIC WOLVES
Note: when I say a "wolf moved from area 'a' to area 'b'", I mean
it was found in area b in May as compared to area a in April.

Pair B5 and B10 moved several miles deeper (eastward) into the
Selway/Bitterroot Wilderness.

Pair B6 and B8 (a very long-bonded pair) moved about ten miles to
the NE to near the western boundary of the Frank Church.

Pair B7 and B11 moved about 15 miles eastward from near the con-
fluence of the North Fork of the Salmon River and the main Salmon
River over the Continental Divide from Idaho to the foothills of
Montana's Big Hole Mountains.

Pair B9 and B16 remained in Chamberlain Basin, perhaps the most
remote place in the Frank Church.

The "wild" (not reintroduced) wolf remained paired with B15 in Kelly
Creek, a few miles north of Highway 12 and the Lochsa River, as they
have been for months.

Pair B29 and B37 remained in the same location in the Salmon River
Mountains about ten miles NE of Challis near the SE boundary of the
Frank Church.

Pair B34 and B35 (not reported as a pair in April) were near the
center of the Frank Church.

Wolf B24 (possibly with B27) moved from the mountains NE of Challis,
where it was near B29 and B37, 75 miles S by SW on an area west of
Deadwood Reservoir.

Wolf B26 traveled 100 miles to the south from just north of the
Salmon River in the Frank Church to near Lowman, Idaho. B26 was
the most southerly wolf located in May.

Wolf B28 traveled almost as far as B26 southward. From the Salmon
River, B28 traveled south to Banner Summit, which is 20 miles NW
of Stanley, Idaho, at the north end of the Sawtooth Mountains.

Wolves B30 and B36 (not paired) were located in the Bear Valley
Creek drainage, 25 miles NW of Stanley, ID. B19 was also in this
general area, having moved 20 miles south from the center of the
Frank Church.

Wolf B32 had moved little from April. It was east of Cascade, ID
(and Long Valley) in the Lick Creek Mountains.

Wolves B18 and B33 (both males traveling together) had moved 125
miles to the NE from the center of the Frank Church to near Lolo
Pass on the Idaho/Montana border. Wolf 31 (alone) also moved from
this area to Lolo Pass.

Wolf B12 moved sixty miles west from the Salmon River in the Frank
Church downstream to near Florence, Idaho. This was the wolf found
furtherest to the west in Idaho.

Wolf B25 moved up the Salmon River in the Frank Church to near
Gibbonsville in the North Fork of the Salmon River.

Wolves B20 and B32 (not together) remained near their previous
locations in the Lick Creek Mountains about ten miles east of
Long Valley (McCall, Cascade area).

Wolf B36 also moved to the Lick Creek Mountains. This wolf came
from remote Chamberlain Basin, moving about 40 miles to the SW.

Lone wolf B14 (from last year) remained in the norhern part of
the Frank Church Wilderness, moving only slightly.

I understand there has been a resignation from the recovery team
which could delay the release of more hard data on wolf locations
in Idaho.

As I mentioned in my previous article, although there are many more
wolves in Idaho now than in 1995, there has been a lower frequency
of reported sightings.




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1996 Ralph Maughan
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