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Idaho Wolf Update for mid June 1998:
Alpha male of Kelly Creek Pack finally identified

7-6-98


Here is the latest information on the Idaho wolves. It has been a bit slow coming because of a busy field season and a small number of staff. These data are were collected in mid June flights.

Many of the locations were very similar to those reported for early June.  I will only hit the highlights.  So far I have received no reports of pups. These should start to come in soon.

Perhaps the most interesting development is that the alpha male of the Kelly Creek Pack has finally been captured and radio-collared.  The pack's alpha female, number B15F, has been mated with this unknown wolf since late in 1995.

Here is the story as reported by the Nez Perce Tribal Wolf Team:

The Kelly Creek pack including wolf B-15-F was located north of Lolo Pass on the Lolo National Forest. The alpha male of the Kelly Creek pack was captured and fitted with a radio collar. A long standing mystery has finally been solved as the identity of the alpha male is now known. As suspected, the alpha male of the Kelly Creek pack is wolf 9013 . . . which was collared in 1990 by wolf researcher Diane Boyd-Heger working for the University of Montana's Wolf Ecology Project.

Wolf 9013 was an adult member of the Camas pack in Glacier National Park at the time he was captured and collared. In 1991, 9013 traveled south and west through western Montana where he was monitored by wolf researcher Mike Jimenez, studying the Nine Mile wolf pack. Mike Jimenez and others continued to monitor 9013 as he established a territory in the Kelly Creek country of Idaho from the beginning of 1992 until his radio failed during late summer of 1993. During this time wolf 9013 became known as the Kelly Creek wolf.

B-15-F and 9013 paired in 1995, produced their first litter of pups in 1997, and is raising their second litter this summer.
 

Note that no. 9013 is about ten years old. He is quite a survivor. Most adult wolves do not reach that age.

In addition to the alpha male of Kelly Creek, eight other wolves have been captured and radio-collared.  I hope to have more information on which wolves soon.
 

Other wolves north of the Salmon River.

Wolf B11F "Blackfire," but not her mate B7M, was located in Lolo Creek just inside Montana.  B7M was not located this time. They have been in this general location since early spring.

Wolf B12M was located in the upper reaches of Fish Creek in Idaho.  This is near the territory of the Kelly Creek Pack.

Wolf B-33-M was located in the Lake Creek drainage of the Gospel Hump Wilderness. No. 33M had not been located for a while, but this new location is in the general vicinity of his last location.

Wolf pair B20F and B31M were located together in the upper St. Joe River drainage. They have been in this location for several months.

The Boulder Pack yearling, B43F, released this spring from the Running Creek wolf pen, was located on the main Salmon River near Yellow Pine Bar.  This is the first real movement she has shown since her release.

The Selway Pack has continued to range widely.   They were later located in Noble Creek.

While not monitored by the Tribal team, wolf B14M apparently continues to do well as the alpha male of the three member Boulder Creek pack in west central Montana.

Wolves south of the Salmon River.

Payette National Forest-
The Chamberlain Basin pack was located in the Lodgepole Creek drainage in Chamberlain Basin. This is their normal territory.

B22F and her long-time companion were located as usual in the Monumental Creek area.

B30F and B28M of the Bear Valley pack were located in the headwaters of the South Fork of the Salmon River, well within there regular summer range of last year. The other pack member B19M was not located in these mid-June flights.

Salmon/Challis National Forest-
The Jureano Mountain wolf pack was located in the Haystack Mountain area. This is at the head of Pine Creek, where they have been located for about three months.
View of Pine Creek. Salmon River Mountains, Idaho
Here is a photo of Pine Creek in the Salmon River Mountains of
central Idaho. Home of the Jureano Mountain Pack.
© Ralph Maughan June 1998.

As has been the case since late last winter B24M was not located.

The Moyer Basin Pack was located at the Silver Creek as has been the case for several months.

Wolves B35F and B18M were located as usual in the Warm Spring Creek drainage of the Frank Church Wilderness.

The Stanley Basin Pack was located on the east side of scenic Stanley Basin.

As usual, Wolf B36F was in the East Fork of the Salmon River drainage.

The report said nothing at all about the Landmark Pack.   I wish we know something about the status of its remaining members.

Here are my guesses at the pairs or packs with litters of pups.

Most likely:
Chamberlain Basin Pack
Jureano Mountain Pack
Moyer Basin Pack
B20F and B33M. My tentative name "St. Joe Pack."
B35F and B18M. My tentative name "Loon Creek Pack"
B22F and her companion. My tentative name "Monumental Pack"
B36F and her companion. My tentative name "White Cloud Mountains Pack"

Possible pups:
Kelly Creek Pack
B11F and B7M.
B33M may have a companion. He has been in the Gospel Hump/Elk City area for quite a while.
B12M may have a companion. He has been in Fish Creek for a fair time.
Landmark Pack. Perhaps some pups survived the death of the alphas.
There could be an unrecognized pair consisting of dispersers from the Landmark Pack, Chamberlain Basin Pack and other wolves, none of which have radio collars.

Unlikely:
Stanley Basin pack
Selway pack
Bear Valley Pack
 


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