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IDAHO WOLF UPDATE
This report is produced by the Central Idaho Gray Wolf Recovery Program; a cooperative effort between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nez Perce Tribe, Wildlife Services, and many other federal, state, county, and private partners. This report provides the latest information on gray wolf recovery in Idaho and attempts to keep interested and affected publics informed on current activities of wolves and the Wolf Recovery Program across the state. For more information about wolves or the Wolf Recovery Program, please contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (208) 378-5243; the Nez Perce Tribe by phone at (208) 634-1061, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Wildlife Services at (208) 378-5077.
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IDAHO WOLF UPDATE
As the wolf population continues to expand, an increased number of wolves will be uncollared compounding the difficult task of documenting formation of new packs. The Wolf Recovery Program relies on wolf sighting reports from the public to identify potential areas to survey for new wolf pack activity. We would like to thank all those who have taken the time to report observed wolf activity and are hopeful that continued help from the public will result in confirmation of additional wolf packs. The Recovery Program encourages the public to report all sightings of wolves or their sign. Sightings can be reported to the Recovery Program by mail at Gray Wolf Recovery Program, Nez Perce Tribe, P.O. Box 1922, McCall, ID 83638, or by phone at (208) 634-1061, or by email at email@example.com; or Carter Niemeyer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1387 S. Vinnell Way, Rm 368, Boise, ID 83709, (208) 378-5347.
Tribal crews are now in the field documenting the reproductive status of wolf packs across Idaho. Denning and pup production has been documented for nine known packs including Big Hole, Buffalo Ridge, Gospel Hump, Jureano Mountain, Kelly Creek, Landmark, Marble Mountain, Moyer Basin (assumed new breeding pair with B97 as alpha male), and Selway, packs.
Six additional packs and wolf groups that may have denned, but for which reproduction has not been documented despite considerable time and effort include Chamberlain Basin, Gold Fork, Thunder Mountain, Twin Peaks, Wolf Fang, and B67.
We suspect that seven wolf packs and groups have not produced pups this year including Orphan, Scott Mountain, Wildhorse, B45, B100, B105, and B133.
Project personnel attempted to capture and collar wolves in the Big Hole, Gold Fork, Kelly Creek, and Landmark packs during this timeframe. Adam Gall captured a gray subadult male, B135, from the Kelly Creek pack near Liz Butte. In addition, 6 pups were detected here prior to the trapping effort. A wolf from the Marble Mountain pack, B136, was captured and radio collared at the north end of Dworshak Reservoir. Trapping was discontinued in the Stanley area for the Landmark pack after domestic dogs were captured on 2 instances. One dog was released unharmed by its owners. The second dog was euthanized by its owners. Examination of the second dog by the tribal biologist, conducting wolf trapping operations in the area, indicated that the trap did not harm the dog. This was a very unfortunate incident and a traumatic experience for the owners of the dogs. The Wolf Recovery Program has taken this incident very seriously, prompting the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nez Perce Tribe to review our wolf trapping policies and procedures to assure that all precautions are taken to minimize conflicts with other forest users and activities, with particular precaution taken towards minimizing potentials for capturing domestic dogs.
OUTREACH, INFORMATION and EDUCATION, and COORDINATION
Outreach priorities during this time of year focus on informing rural communities, agencies, and potentially affected landowners of known wolf activity in new areas across the state; soliciting the public's assistance to document new un-collared packs across the state; and providing information to the public about wolves and the Wolf Recovery Program through updates and progress reports. All of these efforts are prioritized according to availability of time, staff, and funding.
Carter Niemeyer with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service met with representatives of Defenders of Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park on 17 and 18 August.
Wildlife Services' National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins, Colorado, is initiating a research project on a private ranch near Salmon, Idaho. The project is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of fladry, strips of flagging hung from a cord or wire to form a "fence" or wolf barrier to deter wolves from livestock. The project is a cooperative effort between the Idaho Wolf Recovery Program, the U.S. Forest Service, Defenders of Wildlife, and private landowners. Rick Williamson with Idaho Wildlife Services and Stuart Breck with Wildlife Services' Research Center are the principle investigators. The Defenders of Wildlife and the landowner will be assisting Wildlife Services in using track surveys, electronic monitoring devices, and radio telemetry to monitor the movements of wolves in the area and assess the effectiveness of the fladry "fence".
MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL
Recovery Program personnel continue to work with area livestock producers to minimize wolf depredations on livestock.
Confirmed wolf depredations involving the Jureano Mountain pack initiated a control action on 7 August. Lethal control of up to 2 uncollared wolves was authorized in response to 2 confirmed and 1 probable calf losses. On 16 August a male pup was radio collared and released on-site. Rick Williamson of Wildlife Services has devoted a great deal of time and effort to preventing wolf-livestock conflicts in this area. Depredations involving wolves occurred on the west slope of Soldier Mountain (possibly B133 and associates) and Couch Summit areas on 10 August. No traps were set in the Couch Summit area because it was determined that wolves were no longer in the vicinity. The control action west of Soldier Mountain, due to the killing of 2 sheep and injuring of a third, resulted in the lethal control of 2 wolves on 22 August. B133 and another wolf were with the 2 wolves that were shot.
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