Idaho’s Latest Wolf Bi-weekly-
IDAHO WOLF MANAGEMENT
BI-WEEKLY 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 October 18- Nov 3, 2008.
Delisting: FWS – Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Status (WY, MT, ID): The U.S. Federal District Court in Missoula, Montana, issued a preliminary injunction on Friday, July 18, 2008, that immediately reinstated temporary Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountain DPS pending
final resolution of the case. This includes all of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, the eastern one-third of Washington and Oregon, and parts of north-central Utah. On September 22, the United States filed its motion to vacate the delisting rule, return the gray wolf to the list of endangered and threatened species, and remand the matter to the Fish and Wildlife Service. On October 14, Judge Molloy filed an order granting the United States’ motion to remand the delisting rule back to the Fish and Wildlife Service. He also dismissed the case.
NEW — Delisting Update:
On October 24, 2008 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it is reopening the public comment period on its proposal to delist the gray wolf in the northern Rocky Mountains. Through a notice in the Federal Register published on October 28, 2008, USFWS asked the public to provide comments and any additional information on the February 2007 proposal to delist wolves. The Service is seeking additional information on a variety of topics related to the delisting. More details are available in the Federal Register notice which will be posted along with associated materials at the Service’s northern Rocky Mountains wolf website: http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov.
The public will have until November 28, 2008, to submit their comments to the Federal
eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov or via U.S. mail or hand delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: RIN 1018-Au53; Division of Policy and Directives
Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222; Arlington, VA 22203..
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.
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/
Aerial telemetry flights are ongoing. November and December are the primary months IDFG and the NPT attempt to count wolf pack members from the air. Snow conditions and time of year when pack members tend to congregate allow us to get quality pack sizes from the air.
From January 1 – Nov. 3 agencies have documented 131 dead wolves in Idaho. Of those, 82 were depredation control actions by USDA Wildlife Services, 9 illegal kills, 13 legal kills, 4 natural kills, and 23 other/unknown.
From 1/1/08 – 11/3/08, WS confirmed that wolves killed: 11 cows, 80 calves, 211 sheep, 13 dogs; Injured: 1 cow, 7 calves, 6 sheep, 7 dogs; Probable killed: 5 cows, 21 calves, 57 sheep; Injured: 1 cow, 3 calves, 1 sheep.
Table 1. Confirmed wolf depredations and wolf mortality in Idaho from 2003 to October 15, 2008.
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 39
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 91 211 13 315 82 13 36 131
Total 243 1130 46 1419 208 30 126 364
1 Includes depredations resulting in death or injury
2 Authorized take by Wildlife Services
3 Authorized take under 10j for protection of stock and dogs
From 10/16-11/3, WS confirmed two wolf depredations on livestock. WS confirmed that wolves killed 1 calf and 1 buck sheep, both on private land. In response to those depredations, WS shot and killed two wolves. During the same time frame in 2007, WS verified two “probable” wolf depredations.
Non-lethal efforts wrapped up last week with a meeting among cooperators near Ketchum who worked together to reduce livestock/wolf conflicts. Four producers, USFS, USDA Wildlife Services, IDFG, Blaine County Commission, and Defenders of Wildlife experimented with the use of paid non-lethal personnel (funded by Defenders) who used fladry and penning for sheep at night, and attempted to scare wolves away from sheep during the night. Wolves were around the sheep on a regular basis but only one sheep was confirmed killed by wolves all summer. The effort was considered a success by producers and cooperators and may be implemented again in the future should funding and qualified personnel be available.
Nothing new to report.
Information and Education
On 10/25 Holyan (NPT) gave a presentation on wolf biology/ecology to ~25 3rd grade students at Barbara Morgan Elementary School in McCall.
On Nov. 1 Steve Nadeau gave a presentation to 15 members of the Idaho Sportsmen’s Caucus Advisory Council in Boise and teleconferenced to Idaho Falls and Jerome, where 6 sportsmen group leaders and 2 legislators were connected.
A reminder: wolves are protected under the endangered species act and killing one illegally is a federal offense.