|Endangered Species Updates|
|November 13, 2006|
|MEXICAN WOLF REINTRODUCTION PROJECT NEWS. Monthly Status Report: October 1 – 31, 2006|
|The following is a summary of Mexican wolf reintroduction project activities in Arizona on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (ASNF) and in New Mexico on the Gila National Forest (GNF), collectively known as the Blue Range Wolf Reintroduction Area (BRWRA). Additional information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at 1-888-459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department Web site at http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Web site at http://mexicanwolf.fws.gov. Past updates may also be viewed on either Web site, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically by visiting http://www.azgfd.gov/signup. This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose. The reintroduction project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services (USDA-WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT) located on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR). Other entities cooperate through the Adaptive Management Work Group that meets quarterly in Arizona and/or New Mexico, including private individuals, organizations and tribes.To view the wolf distribution map, which contains the most recent three months of wolf aerial locations, please visit http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf. Under “Mexican Wolf Conservation and Management,” scroll down to the links under “Distribution.”Please report any wolf sightings or suspected livestock depredations to: (928) 339-4329 or toll free at 1-888-459-9653. To report incidents of take or harassment of wolves, please call the AGFD’s 24-hour dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at 1-800-352-0700.Numbering System: Mexican wolves are given an identification number recorded in an official studbook that tracks the history of all known Mexican wolves. Capital letters (M = Male, F = Female) preceding the number indicate adult animals 18 months or older. Lower case letters (m = male, f = female) indicate wolves younger than 18 months or pups. The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate alpha wolves.Definitions: For the purposes of the Monthly Update, a “wolf pack” is defined as two or more wolves that maintain an established home range. The Interagency Field Team (IFT) recognizes that wolves without radio telemetry collars sometimes form packs. If the IFT confirms that wolves are associating with each other and are reasonably resident within the same home range, they will be referenced as a pack.CURRENT POPULATION STATUSAs of the end of October, the collared population consisted of 28* wolves with functional radio collars dispersed among nine packs and four single wolves.* See the Bluestem, Hawks Nest and Rim packs, single M973 and M1044 on the FAIR, Arizona, below for more detailed information.SEASONAL NEWS
The IFT has confirmed wild born pups in the Bluestem, Rim and San Mateo packs in Arizona; in the Aspen, Luna and Saddle packs in New Mexico; and suspect pups with the Middle Fork pack in New Mexico.
Bluestem Pack (collared AF521, M990, m991, m1041 and f1042)
Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM619 and AF486 with a non-functional collar)
Meridian Pack (collared AM806 and f1028)
On the October 11 and 16 telemetry flights, the IFT located AM806 near the town of Luna, New Mexico, 17 miles northeast of its release site in Arizona. The IFT observed AM806 alone the following day and hazed it from the area. AM806 remained in the Luna area until October 17. On October 19, the IFT visually confirmed f1028 alone in the area of the Meridian pack release site in Arizona; however, on October 24, the IFT observed AM806 back in Arizona with f1028. On October 25, the IFT captured both AM806 and f1028, fitting f1028 with a radio collar and replacing the radio collar on AM806. On October 29, the IFT observed both AM806 and f1028 together in the vicinity of their release site near Middle Mountain.
Rim Pack (collared AF858, AM992 and m1043)
San Mateo Pack (collared AF903, m927 and AM796 with a non-functional collar)
IN NEW MEXICO:
Aspen Pack (collared AF667, m1038, m1039, f1040 and uncollared AM512)
Luna Pack (collared AM583, m925 and uncollared AF562)
Middle Fork Pack (collared AF861 and AM871)
Saddle Pack (collared AF797, AM732 and m1007)
On September 30, the IFT investigated a cow carcass in Catron County, New Mexico. The IFT investigation determined the kill to be a possible wolf depredation, but there were no wolves with radio collars in the area or any wolf sign discovered.
On October 11, the IFT investigated a dead horse in Apache County, Arizona. The IFT investigation determined that the horse died from a lightening strike.
On October 25, Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility personnel moved m1019 from the management facility at Sevilleta to the Rio Grande Zoo vet clinic for further veterinary care.
COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION
On October 6, Shawna Nelson, in cooperation with USFS personnel, provided four informal presentations to 84 first grade students from Coronado Elementary School in St. Johns as part of their annual field trip to Alpine, Arizona.
On October 6, Saleen Richter gave a presentation to 45 people at the “Natural History of the Gila: A Southwestern New Mexico Symposium” conference at Western New Mexico University in Silver City, New Mexico.
On October 14, Maggie Dwire gave a presentation to 50 people at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge open house in New Mexico.
On October 11, Shawna Nelson and Shawn Farry provided a presentation to 16 community members of Greer, Arizona.
On October 11, Dan Groebner provided a presentation on the history of wolves in Arizona to 250 third grade students from Show Low Elementary School at the Show Low Historical Museum.
On October 14, Shawn Farry and John Oakleaf provided a presentation and led a field trip for 20 ASU and UofA students near Alpine, Arizona.
On October 14 and 15, Shawna Nelson, Krista Beazley and Dan Groebner worked an information booth for the Woodland Wild Country Expo in Pinetop, Arizona. Approximately 400 people attended this inaugural wildlife event.
On October 20, the Adaptive Management Work Group (AMWG) held a meeting in Clifton, Arizona. Agenda topics included translocations and new releases of Mexican wolves in 2006, depredation and wolf management activities and the 5-Year Review of the reintroduction project: the Adaptive Management Oversight Committee’s approach to acting on the 37 recommendations from the 5-Year Review.
On October 21, Melissa Woolf gave an educational presentation at the Living Desert State Park in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
On October 21, Laura Kelly provided a telemetry demonstration to 120 people at the California Wolf Center as part of Wolf Awareness Week in Julian, California.
On October 27, Shawna Nelson provided a presentation for 14 participants of Wild by Nature, a wildlife watching field trip, and National Park Service personnel in the Gila Wilderness, New Mexico. The following day, she provided a telemetry demonstration and assisted participants in locating and identifying animal tracks.
Nicole Heywood left the Mexican Wolf Blue Range Reintroduction Project October 20.
Brynn Nelson, a USFWS volunteer, left the Mexican Wolf Blue Range Reintroduction Project October 31.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward of up to $10,000 and the Arizona Game and Fish Department Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of Mexican gray wolves. A variety of public interest groups are offering an additional $35,000, for a total reward amount of up to $46,000, depending on the information provided.
Individuals with information they believe may be helpful are urged to call one of the following agencies: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents in Mesa, AZ, at (480) 967-7900, in Alpine, AZ, at (928) 339-4232, or in Albuquerque, NM, at (505) 346-7828; the White Mountain Apache Tribe at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; Arizona Game and Fish Department Operation Game Thief at 1-800-352-0700; or New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Operation Game Thief at 1-800-432-4263. Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act, and can result in criminal penalties of up to $50,000 and/or not more than one year in jail, and/or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.