Here is the latest news as written by Idaho Fish and Game. It has a wolf and livestock mortality table. Ralph Maughan

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IDAHO WOLF MANAGEMENT
PROGRESS REPORT

To: Idaho Fish and Game Staff and Cooperators

From: IDFG Wolf Program Coordinator, Steve Nadeau

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Management, Weeks of March 1 – March 15, 2009.

Delisting: FWS – Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Status (WY, MT, ID):

For the time being, all wolves to the north of Interstate- 90 in Idaho remain listed as endangered. All wolves in the southern half of Montana, all portions of Idaho south of Interstate-90, and all of Wyoming are being managed under the 2005 and 2008 Endangered Species Act nonessential experimental population 10j regulations. The State of Idaho Department of Fish and Game is acting as the designated agent for the USFWS in implementing day-to-day management of wolves under the MOU between the Secretary of Interior and Governor of Idaho signed January 2006.

Delisting wolves and assuring their proper long-term management is and has been of highest priority for the state of Idaho and the Fish and Game Department. We continue to work along with the Department of Interior, Department of Justice, and other states and interveners toward the eventual delisting of wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains, and move toward state management under the State Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and the Wolf Population Management Plan. All the work appears to have recently come to fruition.

News on delisting

On March 6, 2009, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar affirmed the decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove gray wolves from the list of threatened and endangered species in the western Great Lakes and the Northern Rocky Mountain states of Idaho and Montana and parts of eastern Washington and Oregon and a small part of north central Utah.

Wolves will remain a protected species under the Act in all of Wyoming because Wyoming state regulatory framework does not meet the adequate regulatory mechanism requirements of the ESA. The NRM & WGL delisting rules will be published in the next week or so and will become effective 30-days later in mid to late April.

You may review past wolf weekly publications on our wolf webpage and links along with all pertinent and updated wolf information and publications at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/wolves/

Monitoring

The annual report is completed and sent to the USFWS. It can be found on our website at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/wolves/manage/ . The minimum population estimates for 2008 are 846 wolves for Idaho, in 88 packs, 39 breeding pairs. This is about a 15% increase over the 2007 minimum population estimate of 732.

Management

From January 1 – March 15, 2009 agencies have documented 14 dead wolves in Idaho. Of those, 6 were depredation control actions by USDA Wildlife Services, 2 legal kills, 2 illegal kills, 1 natural kills, and 3 other/unknown.

From 2/28/09-1/15/09, WS (tentatively) confirmed that wolves killed:  0 cows, 0 steer, 7 calves, 1 sheep, 1 dogs, 0 foal; Injured:  0 cow, 0 calves, 0 sheep, 0 dogs; Probable killed:  0 cows, 2 calves, 0 sheep; Probable Injured:  0 cow, 2 calves, 0 sheep, 0 dogs.

A wolf pack has been drawing a crowd near Ketchum/ Sun Valley recently as they prey on a herd of elk that has been fed by locals through the winter. The feeding season has stopped and the herd is beginning to move away from the resort community. IDFG may replace radio collars on these wolves this week with a helicopter and hazing elk further away from the community. IDFG is concerned about the wolves becoming habituated to humans in the area and threats they may pose to safety, particularly to pets and livestock.

Table 1. Confirmed wolf depredations and wolf mortality in Idaho from 2003 to March 15, 2009 (tentative).

 

Depredations1

Wolf Mortality

Cattle

Sheep

Dogs

Total

WS2

10j3

Other

Total

2003

7

130

3

140

7

0

8

15

2004

19

176

4

199

17

0

21

38

2005

29

166

12

207

24

3

16

43

2006

41

237

4

282

35

7

19

61

2007

57

211

10

278

43

7

27

77

2008

104

215

14

333

94

13

44

151

2009

7

1

1

9

6

2

6

14

Total

264

1136

48

1448

226

32

141

399

1 Includes confirmed depredations resulting in death or injury

2 Authorized take by Wildlife Services

3 Authorized take under 10j or while delisted for protection of stock and dogs

Control

In summary, from 2-28 through 3/15, WS confirmed that wolves killed 5 calves and probably killed another 2.  All of these depredations took place on private land.  In response to these and previous depredations, WS shot and killed 2 wolves.  During the same timeframe in 2008, WS did not confirm any wolf depredations.

Research
Nothing new to report.

Information and Education

DFG director’s office has been giving several wolf updates to the state legislature and to the Fish and Game Commission, and on television.

Jason Husseman gave a talk to 15 retired school teachers on March 10 regarding wolf management.

Michael Lucid gave a wolf biology presentation to 17 students from the Treasure Valley Community College on March 4. The students were in an introduction to biology course.

On 2/17 Holyan spoke about wolf biology/ecology and delisting issues with the Environmental Studies class (~20 students) at McCall-Donnelly High School.

Further information and updates, including the directives provided by the commission can be viewed at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/wolves/

A reminder: wolves are protected under the endangered species act and killing one illegally is a federal offense. When they are delisted, they will be fully protected under state and federal laws.
Please help us manage wolves by reporting wolf sightings on our Fish and Game observation form found at:

http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/apps/wolf_report/

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

4 Responses to Latest wolf news from Idaho Fish and Game. March 1-15, 2009

  1. avatar smalltownID says:

    At first glance that table can be pretty striking. Why don’t they mention the real research that is going on that was presented at the ICTWS meetings in moscow by various people in the IDF&G?

  2. avatar Ken Cole says:

    The 2008 report is not at the address that they specify.

  3. SmalltownID,

    I think they had links to PDFs of this research in a recent issue of their wolf news.

  4. avatar timz says:

    AP Story
    BILLINGS, Mont. — Federal officials say a record 1,645 gray wolves counted in the Northern Rockies this winter shows the predators’ population remains strong, but is no longer expanding as rapidly as in past years.
    Since their reintroduction to the region in the mid-1990s, wolf numbers had previously grown on average by 24 percent annually in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Ed Bangs says this year’s figure is up only 8 percent. Bangs says that signals that wolves have filled most of the prime habitat in the three states.
    Federal officials in January declared the region’s wolves were ready to come off the endangered species list. Environmental and animal rights groups have vowed to challenge that decision in court.

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Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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