Oxbow pack in Yellowstone has 10 pups

The relatively new Oxbow Pack, which split late in 2005 from the Leopolds, had a double litter of eleven pups! One pup has died.

Dr. Doug Smith told me today that there is a pup count from just one other pack– the “new Swan Lake Pack” has 5 pups (plus 5 and maybe 6 adults).

The new Druid den has no pup count, nor the Sloughs or Agates. Currently the Druid Pack holds at 10 adults (that includes the surviving yearlings)

The Cougar Creek Pack in the Park, NE of West Yellowstone was not confirmed to have had pups last year, but its alpha female denned this year. At 9 years old she (151F) is the second oldest wolf in the Park. No pup count yet.

Lots of people have seen the Haydens on the road and nearby. They keep denning in that bad spot. Hopefully they will not be pressured so by the mass of people that an incident happens. About 800 people have looked at the photos of the pack that recently went up (that’s just my link).

Mollies has 9 adult wolves. No pup count. It is thought the new alpha male is 586M. Folks may recall that a large male from that pack was recently hit and killed on the highway near LeHardy’s Rapids.

The Slough Creek Pack has been seen a lot in Slough Creek and the lower Lamar Valley. The alpha male (folks will recall he was until recently an Agate Pack wolf) killed an elk in the Lamar River, then another nearby. He spent a lot of time around them. He had to cross the road to get to his food, and people made it hard for him to cross the highway. As a result he spent a lot of time near the road, including lying in the middle of the highway for a while (that made a big commotion!). The rest of the Slough Pack (still all females, I believe) are wary of the road, and wouldn’t join him at his kill.

It is not known if the Hellroaring Pack is still in the Park (or exists). They lost all their radio collars.

The Gibbon Pack, which vanquished the last remnants of the Nez Perce Pack, is now almost a duplicate of the once mighty Nez Perce. Like the Nez Perce, they are denned in Nez Perce Creek. Like the Nez Perce, they are a large pack with 11 adults and an unknown number of pups. Their territory is about the same as was the Nez Perce.

No one seems to have seen the “unknown pack” that besieged the Sloughs last spring, causing them to lose all their pups.

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On the trail of Idaho’s Basin Butte wolf pack

This wolf pack lives near Stanley, Idaho, in the heart of scenic Idaho. It has been a very successful pack, staying away (except once) from the thousands of livestock that are driven into the scenic area late each spring and often hang around until November.

I have heard that as of late, elk have been very abundant in the general area, although the number of big bulls is down due to human trophy hunting.

Story in the Idaho Mountain Express. By Jason Kaufmann. On the trail of the Basin Butte wolf pack: Work on wolf harvest plan could yield fall 2008 hunt.

This wolf pack and Buffalo Ridge Pack down the Salmon River Canyon about 10 miles from Stanley (and up the Squaw Creek tributary) are probably the two easiest Idaho wolves packs to see. The area around Stanley has lots of open meadows with lots of elk until late June (very much like Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley).

This is the summer to look for wolves in Idaho. This population is probably as high as it will every be, and they are slated for hunting. Whether the hunt kills a lot of wolves (the likely plan) or just a few, the wolves will become harder to see.

Unraveling brucellosis source isn’t simple matter

Unraveling brucellosis source isn’t simple matter. By Mark Stark. Billings Gazette.

In other news, or lack of it, Idaho media continue to be uninterested in the brucellosis story despite Idaho’s loss of brucellosis free status and a number of recent public meetings on rules to help regain that supposedly coveted status.

Posted in Grazing and livestock, wildlife disease. Comments Off on Unraveling brucellosis source isn’t simple matter

Little controversy over Wyoming Senator Thomas’ Wild and Scenic Rivers bill

A story today says the reason for the lack of controversy is that only the uncontroversial stream segments were included in the legislation.

Bill leaves out some waters.
By Whitney Royster. Casper Star-Tribune environmental reporter.

At the present only part of one river in Wyoming is in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. That is a portion of the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone to east of Cooke City.

Posted in public lands management, wilderness roadless. Comments Off on Little controversy over Wyoming Senator Thomas’ Wild and Scenic Rivers bill