Idaho wolf mortalities
Here is the list of the wolves that have been killed since wolves were reintroduced into central Idaho in January 1995. A brief description of the circumstances follows. Two wolves that naturally migrated into Idaho and were killed are not listed.
- Wolf B13F. Shot by an unknown person January 29, 1995 while it was eating a dead calf on a ranch at the mouth of Iron Creek mid-way between Salmon and Challis, Idaho. This was the first death of an Idaho or a Yellowstone wolf, and it caused a sensation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that wolf 13 did not kill the calf. The person who shot no. 13 was never identified.
Stories on no. 13
- Unlucky 13: Wolf dies of Gunshot. 1-30-95. Post Register.
- A newly reintroduced Idaho wolf shot near Challis. 1-30-95. My story on wolf 13.
- Armed Agents Search Ranch for Wolf Bullet. 3-10-95. Post Register.
- Wolf Confrontation Compared to Waco. 3-12-95. Post Register.
- Autopsy shows Wolf didn't Kill Calf. 3-15-95. Post Register.
- Feds Bare Own Claws Over Search. 3-20-95. Post Register.
- Beattie: Fish and Wildlife Agents Did Good. 3-20-95. Post Register.
- Wolf B4F ("Kelly"). Killed by a mountain lion in early March 1996 near Drummond, Montana. Wolf 4 had lived as a lone wolf in the nearby drainage of Rock Creek for about a half year.
- Wolf B21M. Accidentally killed in a trap set for it by the ADC on June 23, 1996. No. 21 had attacked and killed two cow calves near Cascade in Western Idaho. ADC planned to trap and relocate the wolf, but the wolf dragged the trap into a nearby stream. The trap snagged on something and the wolf drowned.
- Wolf B26F. This yearling was found dead in early July 1996 near Deadwood Reservoir, a backcountry reservoir in southwest central Idaho. This wolf, which was introduced as a pup, appears to have died of starvation.
- Pup. March 1997. Captive pup from the Boulder Pack. This was one of two pups captured in the spring of 1997 from the native Boulder Pack in SW Montana. It was killed inside the Running Creek Pen in a tranquilizer darting accident.
- Wolf B6F. April 1998. Named Bee-yah by Idaho school children, she was the alpha female of the Landmark Pack and longtime mate of wolf B8M. She whelped two (and perhaps three) litters of pups before her body was located in the river in May 1998. Her carcass, and that of her mate B8M underwent forensic autopsy. Results were inconclusive.
- Wolf B8M. April 1998. Named Keea by Idaho school children, he was apparently killed along with his mate. The body of Keea, the alpha male of the Landmark Pack was also located in the river but not recovered. Cause of death may have been natural or due to foul play. Since B6 and B8 were the only radio-collared members of the Landmark Pack, the other five or six packs members disappeared in terms of monitoring them.
- Wolf B12M? July 1998. Number 12's cut radio collar was found near Lolo Pass. This would imply that they killed and disposed of the wolf elsewhere. There is speculation that he was hit on U.S. Highway 12, picked up, and his collar dumped near Lolo Pass, which is on Highway 12.
- Two pups in Napias Creek. Early August. 1998. These two pups were from the Jureano Mounain Pack. Although they died in early August, the cause has not been determined, but it was probably natural.
- Wolf B19M. January 1999. Formerly of the Trio called the Bear Valley Pack, his body was found in Loon Creek, probably killed in a territorial dispute with the Twin Peaks Wolf Pack. He may have been paired with an uncollared female because he left the Bear Valley Pack in the spring of 1998.
- Wolf B30F. Jan. or Feb. 1999. This wolf died in central Idaho of unknown causes. Her body was't recovered until August 1999. She had been the adult female wolf in the former trio of adult wolves called the Bear Valley Pack.
- Wolf B34M. April 1999. Killed by Wildlife Services in the Big Hole Valley of SW Montana for depredations on cattle. No. 34 was one of the original wolves from B.C., and a long-time lone wolf. He had recently paired, however, with a 2-year old from the Moyer Basin Pack, B54F.
- Wolf B54F. See above. She was pregnant, carrying six pups.
- Wolf B29M. Found dead in April 1999. He was the alpha male of the Moyer Basin Pack and one of the original reintroduced wolves from B.C. The cause of his death is not certain, but likely due to a bull elk.
- Wolf B55M. July 1999. This 2 year-old from the Stanley Pack was killed near Stanley, Idaho by Wildlife Services after several depredations on both sheep and cattle. Nuimber 55 was the first wolf stemming from the reintroduction in Idaho to be killed for livestock depredations in Idaho (Note: two other wolves from Idaho, B34M and B54F were killed by Wildlife Services in Montana for livestock depredations in April 1999).
- Wolf B44F. Aug. 13, 1999. This 2 year old member of the Jureano Mountain Pack was shot by Wildlife Services west of the town of Salmon for killing several cow calves.
Thus, there are eight reintroduced wolves and their offspring that are known dead for the Idaho reintroduced wolves. There are probably several more -- pups that died before they were located by the wolf team. There are also several wolves that have not been radio located, or otherwise located, for some time:
- B3M last radio tracked March 1995, but B3 might be living in the Centennial Mountains of the Idaho/Montana border. A wolf with what appears to have been her decorated, but dead, radio collar was seen in 1997.
- B17M, last located March 1996
- B14M, last located June 1997 (Added on 3-12-98. It turns out that B14 is alive and had paired with Opal and her pups just before she was shot by ADC. B14 is now, therefore, the leader of the Boulder Pack in SW Montana).
It is clear that both natural and human-caused wolf mortality has been much lower in central Idaho than in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.
08/20/99 07:24 AM
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