Gray Wolf Recovery
Weekly Progress Report
Week of July 27 - August 2, 2002
See http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/wolf/annualreports.htm/ for maps of pack locations and home ranges.
On 7/27 Fontaine collared a large (40lb) female gray pup in Ninemile Valley in NW MT.
John Vore, MDFWP biologist, reported seeing 3 adults and 3 pups in a suspected uncollared pack near Lake Como on the west side of the Bitterroot Valley (east side of the Idaho Experimental population area near Hamilton, Montana). There is a radioed wolf in that area but whether it is with this pack is unknown.
Seven pups were seen with the Chief Joe pack near Daly Creek inside the Park. Congratulations to Val Asher who for the second year filled in a couple of the pack's potential new den in Tom Miner Basin that was near livestock. As happened last year, after their early den was disturbed, the pack ended up denning near their traditional Daly Creek site, inside Yellowstone National Park. The Park reported that 4 pups were seen in the Yellowstone Delta pack. Three pups were seen with the Rose Creek pack, which is now 20 miles north into the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness. They were probably pushed there by the Druid pack's expansion.
Asher had a very interesting aerial observation of the Taylor Peak pair in some cattle on the west side of the Madison River on the 30th. "Female 198F was in the lead, passed some cows and was chased by a calf. Ten more cows grouped up and chased her several hundred yards to a creek. She crossed but the cows didn't. The uncollared wolf was chased by about 30 cows for about a half a mile." The livestock owner was contacted.
Please report wolf sightings in MONTANA, IDAHO, OR WYOMING!!
Livestock Depredations & Management (control)
Trapping/shooting control is ongoing in the Dunoir Valley near Dubois, WY. On the 29th, a gray non-breeding uncollared adult male was trapped and euthanized. Trapping will continue and adult uncollared wolves that are captured will be killed to reduce pack size. An attempt to locate the pack from the air and shoot 1-2 of them was unsuccessful on the 29th because the pack of 10 or so was in heavy timber. On the 30th, WS investigated 2 injured calves. Wolves were responsible for injuring one but the other's wounds weren't confirmed to be caused by wolves. Paul Hansen (Service in WY), remains on the ranch checking traps, monitoring wolf activity, and identifying potential conflicts.
Another wounded calf was examined near Eureka where at least 3 other calves were wounded by wolves over a month ago. The calf had healed and was likely attacked about the same time as the previous ones. No control is warranted.
A female llama was killed by wolves inside a securely fenced (woven-wire) pasture in the Ninemile Valley a couple of miles up the valley from the previous 2 llama depredations this spring. Wildlife Services set traps and will remove up to 2 wolves, except pups which will be collared and released on site. WS saw two wolves come back to the llama carcass the following night but they didn't approach the traps. If the wolves return, WS has been authorized to shoot both if possible. Attempts to use fladry and electric fencing are being pursued to end what has become a recent chronic problem with llamas in that valley. The pack has 5-6 adults plus pups.
Montana State University has a great web site established where you can see what they are doing on their research about wolf and elk relationships in and adjacent to Yellowstone National Park. See www.montana.edu/ecology/staff/garrott/index.htm for access and click on wolf-ungulate dynamics.
Information, Education & Law Enforcement
On July 19 the Federal District Court for Idaho issued a ruling on a preliminary injunction regarding livestock grazing in the USDA Forest Service's Sawtooth National Recreation Area in central Idaho. He ordered the Service to not conduct control within the SNRA for depredations within the SNRA before September 1. The Service is committed to implementing the experimental population rules, including lethal wolf control because it is in the best interest of the wolf recovery program. The Service requested the Department of Justice to file a motion asking the Judge to reconsider the part of his ruling that affects the Service.
On July 26, Meier spoke to about 15 people at a wolf ecology course at the Glacier Institute in Glacier National Park.
The weekly wolf report can 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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