Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report
Weeks of Apr 1 - Apr 14, 1997
Yellowstone biologists have been locating wolves every day as part of the spring predation rate study. All wolf packs remain localized within their normal home ranges, none were located outside expected areas. Six or so of the pups that were recently released from the Nez Perce pen were located along the Park boundary just north and west of Gardiner, MT. Another pup was seen feeding on a cow carcass (suspected carrion) just to the north in the Cinnabar drainage, local ranchers were notified. There are 8 potential breeding pairs in the Park, and earlier in the week one female was seen excavating her den from last year. Later in the week it appeared that three females are denned, one from the Druid pack and two from the Rose Creek pack. Pups should be born soon. On the 11th, the first bison documented to have been killed by wolves was killed by the Crystal pair. The adult bison carcass was taken over by a grizzly bear a day later.
Wolves in Idaho are localizing and there are about 11 or so pairs that could potentially produce pups this spring. The Nez Perce Tribe plans on using seasonal field biologists to closely monitor pup production this year.
A search of the East Front near Augusta failed to locate the radio-collaredwolf from the Sawtooth Pack. They have not been located in the past month andwere last located about 35 miles north of their usual location near the Teton River/Antelope Butte area. The pilot was also unable to locate the North Camas pack. On the 12th, Nez Perce biologists flew the Boulder Pack territory, near Deer lodge Montana (while returning from the Big Hole area). ADC was standing by to dart and radio-collar any wolves that were located. Unfortunately, the recent snow had melted off and no tracks or wolves were seen. We will attempt to trap and radio-collar members of that pack this summer.
The Service hired 5 seasonal field biologists this summer for about 6 months beginning April 28. Their primary duty will be to locate and radio-collar wolves in northwestern Montana. They will be contacting many of you during the next several months to ask for your assistance in locating wolves. Please think about being aware of and recording recent reports of wolves in your area so our field crew can better focus their search efforts.
The Nez Perce Tribe will hire 6 field biologists this summer and will be advertizing those jobs very soon. For further information please contact Timm Kaminski or Curt Mack (208)843-7372 in Lapwai, ID.
Livestock Depredations & Management (control)
The Big Hole male, who escaped from the pen in central Idaho after being involved in a livestock depredation last fall, was captured (darted) in the Big Hole on the 11th by ADC. The male hadn't bothered any livestock since his return. He will be released with the female (his mate) being held in central Idaho. Airstrip access to the female is currently difficult and that will delay their release. They will be released north of the Lochsa River just south of I-90, in the Idaho experimental area within the next week or so.
Fritts et al.'s article "Planning and implementing a reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho" was published in Restoration Ecology March 1997 Vol 5(1):7-27. The cover of the Journal was a color picture of Alaskan wolf biologist Mark McNay processing a wolf. Reprints can be obtained by contacting Dr. Steven Fritts (303)236-8155 EX 265, or this office.
Information, Education & Law Enforcement
A two day wolf handling training course (organized by the Service, Wolf Education and Research Center (WERC) and Dr. Mark Johnson) and the two day Annual Wolf Working Group Meeting was held at Chico Hot Springs, MT April 7- 10. The program was very well attended. About 85 people attended the workshop and a few more than that showed up for the annual meeting. Attendees included representatives from Mexico and the U.S. Mexican wolf program, Alaska, Canada, Minnesota, Michigan, Washington, Utah and the (U.S.) northern Rocky Mountains. USDA Animal Damage Control, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Biological Service, National Park Service, states of Alaska, Michigan, Minnesota, Wyoming, and Montana, and various Universities were represented. Wolf experts from throughout the U.S. and Canada gave presentations. A writer for National Geographic, reporters from National Public Radio and the Great Falls Tribune, and a Tokyo, Japan news team conducted many interviews. Dave Mech was the banquet speaker. Norm Bishop was awarded the WERC 1997 Alpha Award. WERC and Service biologist Jeff Haas were given awards from the Region 6 Regional Director for their assistance during the 1996 reintroduction effort. It was a great set of meetings (and the Hot Springs and food were great). We THANK!! the WERC for co-hosting the meeting and all the presenters and attendees for their participation.
Bangs and Phillips will be discussing the potential for wolf reintroduction to Olympic National Park in Washington state on the 17th and 18th of April. Congressman Norm Dicks and Defenders of Wildlife are hosting the informational meeting.
Bangs will give a presentation to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission in Casper, WY on April 28. The Wyoming state wolf management plan is undergoing public review from now until May 15, 1997.
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 -
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