HAPPY NEW YEAR!
NEW WEB ADDRESS- The 2003 annual wolf report is at
http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov/ . It has maps of wolf pack
locations and home ranges, tables of wolf numbers and depredations,
litigation and funding issues, and summaries of scientific studies. We are
hoping that the 2005 annual report [covering all 2004] will be completed
and distributed by March 1, 2005.
CORRECTION- last week we reported that a rancher from the Madison
Valley reported that the radio signal from female wolf #48, formerly a Nez
Perce wolf was nearby. That was apparently a mistake since wolf #48 was
located as usual in the Park on the 27th.
On the 23rd, WS investigated a complaint by a rancher near Meeteetse,
WY. He reported that several wolves were chasing his cows in the same area
where wolves had killed one of his cows last week. WS located the Owl
Creek Pack further up in the mountains and concluded that other wolves
were involved. The rancher described 2 black wolves seen amongst his
cattle. WS routinely checks for any missing collared wolves or other
collared wolves from nearby packs. The wolves chasing livestock turned out
to be a young collared female black wolf that had dispersed from the
Sunlight Pack, traveling with another uncollared black wolf. WS chased the
wolves two times out of the cattle with cracker shells. We will monitor
On the 26th, three wolves were confirmed to have killed
another +600lb. calf in the Paradise Valley. It was the same rancher that
lost a replacement heifer earlier in the month and has had chronic
problems in past years. WS was authorized to conduct lethal control for
two wolves if they had the chance while they were conducting the nearby
Lone Bear control action. The rancherís active shoot-on-sight permit for
two wolves was increased to take three wolves. This is likely the Mill
Creek pack which has one radioed female, or possible the Sheep Mountain
pack which has no radioed members. These wolves have killed both cattle
and sheep on several occasions and our earlier attempts at trap and collar
on a site and have agency personal take one wolves by shoot-on-site were
not successful. On the 29th, the rancher took a female
sub-adult in poor condition on his private property. She apparently had
mange and is being examined by the MT FWP wildlife lab. She was one of 5
gray wolves he saw on his private property, and he reported the others
looked worse for hair loss, meaning they could all die this winter from
the infestation. These are probably Mill Creek wolves, and the same group
where a captured pup was euthanized last month because of severe mange.
Jimenez and WY WS specialist John Perringer examined a horse near the
Owl Creek area, SW of Meeteetse, WY. The 10 year-old horse was killed by
wolves on private property in a corral and was fed on. The Owl Creek pack
[4 wolves are left after this yearís control actions] routinely uses this
area and has been involved in several other depredations this year. WS was
authorized to remove 2 more pack members. If the pack depredate again it
will be removed.
Nothing new to report.
Information and education and law enforcement
A fur-trapper near the main Boulder River in SW MT [SE of Livingston,
MT] accidentally snared a young female wolf that could be a member of the
Moccasin Lake pack. He found it dead in what he said was a snare a set for
a bobcat. He was using a 1/16" small snare with breakaway lock and
immediately reported the dead wolf. The carcass was retrieved by MT FWP
and LE is investigating.
On the 28th, Asher and Ross received a call about an injured
wolf just east of Livingston, MT. It had damage to its back and hind legs
and also had some indications of mange. It was euthanized and taken to the
MT FWP Wildlife Lab in Bozeman, MT to be thoroughly examined. It is under
Jimenez and WY WS met with about a dozen ranchers at a ranch in the
Wood River/Meeteetse, WY area. They discussed wolves, wolf control and
management options. The meeting was cordial and a lot of good information
was exchanged. We thank the ranchers for their hospitality.
The Defenders of Wildlife announced they had paid a record $138,000 in
privately funded compensation payments to ranchers in 2004. In the past 17
years they have paid a total of $440,000 for confirmed and probable
wolf-caused damage in the northern Rocky Mountains. They also announced
they are establishing a Livestock Advisory Council, composed of ranchers
in Montana, Idaho, and Arizona to help evaluate and improve the program.
The Service's weekly wolf report can now also be viewed at the
Service's Region 6 web site at
http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov/ . This report is government public
property and can be used for any purpose. Please distribute as you see
Contact: Ed Bangs (406)449-5225 x204 or