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Wolves
Wolf History, Conservation, Ecology and Behavior
[www.wolfology.com]
Mexican Gray Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Updates
Sept., Oct. & Dec. 2003
Mexican Gray Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update-September 2003
This is a summary of the Mexican gray wolf reintroduction project in Arizona and New Mexico. Additional information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329, or toll free at 1-888-459-WOLF, or by visiting the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s web site at http://mexicanwolf.fws.gov. Past updates may also be viewed on this website or interested parties may sign up to receive the update electronically by visiting www.azgfd.com. This update is public property and can be used for any purpose. Please distribute as you see fit. The reintroduction project is a multi-agency cooperative effort between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF), USDA-Wildlife Services (USDA-WS), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT) on the Ft. Apache Indian Reservation, the San Carlos Apache Tribe (SCAT), and other supporting organizations including the Turner Endangered Species Fund (TESF) and Defenders of Wildlife (DOW).
Please report any wolf sightings, incidents of take or harassment of wolves, or suspected livestock depredations to: (928) 339-4329, or toll free at (888)-459-WOLF, or the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s 24-Hour Dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at (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 sub-adults (younger than 18 months) or pups. The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate alpha wolves.
CURRENT POPULATION STATUS As of the end of September, there were 24 radio-collared wolves in eight packs as follows: Hawk’s Nest (AF486, AM619), Cienega (AF487, AM194, m795, m796), Bluestem (AF521, AM507), and Saddle (AM574) in Arizona; Luna (AF562, AM583), and Gapiwi (AF624) in New Mexico; and Bonito Creek (AF587, AM794) and Hon-Dah (AF637, AM578) on the Ft. Apache Indian Reservation; and eight lone wolves: AF511, m798, f799, f800, m801, m729, f797, and m832. Based on other field data (sightings, tracks, howling etc.), there are approximately 10-15 additional wolves, not including pups born this year, distributed among the eight packs as well as wolves traveling separately from known packs.
MONITORING As of the end of September, project personnel have documented the presence of approximately 18 pups in seven packs as follows: Cienega, two pups observed July 11; Saddle, five pups observed July 16; Bluestem, three pups observed August 13; Hawk’s Nest, two pups heard howling August 20; Gapiwi, three pups observed August 21; Bonito Creek, pups heard howling September 3; and Luna, one pup track found September 19. In addition, the Hon Dah pack was released with pups and recent observations indicated that some of these pups remain.
Current field efforts are focusing on monitoring wolf activity, radio collaring pups and adults, and making hunter contacts.
M832 and f797 have moved off of the San Carlos Apache Reservation, and have been traveling separately on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona.
Project personnel attempted to trap and radio collar pups of the Gapiwi Pack. During trapping efforts, AF624 was trapped September 12 and her radio collar was replaced. The trap line was then pulled due to the presence of hunters in the area.
Trapping efforts began this month to trap and collar pups of the Hawk’s Nest Pack and to replace the radio collars on the alpha pair.
INCIDENTS September 2—A report of a minor injury to a calf in the Rainy Mesa area of New Mexico was examined by Wildlife Services and determined to be a possible wolf-caused injury. Former members of the Francisco Pack, AM509, AF511, m801, and m798, may have been in the area at the time.
September 13—While monitoring m801, project personnel discovered five cow carcasses east of Vernon, AZ. The State livestock inspector for Apache County investigated the carcasses and determined that the cause of death was due to the ingestion of a toxic plant. Project personnel limed and tarped the carcasses to deter scavenging by m801. MORTALITIES August 26, and uncollared pup, m856, was found dead in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest near the junction of FR 25 and 25F, north of Wildcat Point
Four wolves were found dead in September. AF510 from the Saddle Pack was found dead September 15 near Snake Creek in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. An uncollared male, m857, was found dead September 19 near Willow Creek on the northern edge of the Gila Wilderness in NM. AM509, of the Francisco Pack was found dead September 24 along State Highway 180 west of Silver City, NM. The fourth wolf, AM584, of the Gapiwi Pack, was found dead September 28 one mile east of Snow Lake in the Gila National Forest, NM. All four carcasses were sent to the forensics laboratory for necropsy, and their deaths are under investigation.
CAPTIVE MANAGEMENT Red Rock AF613 appears to be recovering well although she may require a second surgery, as one metatarsal bone is not healing properly. She is still being held at the Albuquerque Zoo.
COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION September 25-28, members of the Interagency Field Team attended the World Wolf Congress 2003 held in Banff, Alberta, Canada. John Oakleaf and Dan Stark gave presentations to approximately 50 people each at the conference.
REWARDS OFFERED The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual or individuals responsible for the shooting deaths of Mexican gray wolves. An additional $10,000 is being offered by the Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife ($5,000 each). 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, Pinetop, AZ, at (928) 367-5689, or 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 gray wolf is a violation of the federal Endangered Species Act, and can invoke criminal penalties of up to $25,000 and or six (6) months in jail or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.
Mexican Gray Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update-October 2003
This is a summary of the Mexican gray wolf reintroduction project in Arizona and New Mexico. Additional information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329, or toll free at 1-888-459-WOLF, or by visiting the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s web site at http://mexicanwolf.fws.gov. Past updates may also be viewed on this website or interested parties may sign up to receive the update electronically by visiting www.azgfd.com. This update is public property and can be used for any purpose. Please distribute as you see fit. The reintroduction project is a multi-agency cooperative effort between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF), USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services (USDA-WS), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT) on the Ft. Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), the San Carlos Apache Tribe (SCAT), and other supporting organizations including the Turner Endangered Species Fund (TESF) and Defenders of Wildlife (DOW).
Please report any wolf sightings, incidents of take or harassment of wolves, or suspected livestock depredations to: (928) 339-4329, or toll free at (888)-459-WOLF, or the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s 24-Hour Dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at (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 sub-adults (younger than 18 months) or pups. The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate alpha wolves.
CURRENT POPULATION STATUS As of the end of October, there were 23 radio-collared wolves in eight packs as follows: Hawk’s Nest (AF486, AM619), Cienega (AF487, AM194, m795, m796), Bluestem (AF521, AM507), and Saddle (AM574) in Arizona; Luna (AF562, AM583) and Gapiwi (AF624) in New Mexico; and Bonito Creek (AF587, AM794) and Hon-Dah (AF637, AM578) on the FAIR; and seven lone wolves, including F511, m798, f799, f800, m729, f797, and m832. Based on other field data (sightings, tracks, howling etc.), there are approximately 10-15 additional wolves, not including pups born this year, distributed among the eight packs, as well as wolves traveling separately from known packs.
MONITORING Field efforts continue to focus on monitoring wolf activity, placing radio collars on pups and adults, and making hunter contacts throughout Arizona and New Mexico, as well as on the FAIR.
On October 20, project personnel observed six wolves with the Cienega Pack. At least one wolf was observed with a collar. Then on October 30, project personnel observed one pup with four collared wolves of the Cienega Pack.
Project personnel again attempted to trap and place radio collars on pups from the Gapiwi Pack this month. However, no wolves were caught, and trapping efforts ceased on October 23.
On October 23, m832 was trapped during trapping efforts to radio collar pups and sub-adults of the Bluestem Pack. However, the wolf pulled out of the trap before project personnel had a chance to examine him. Up until this capture, m832 has been documented to be traveling with or in close proximity to the Bluestem pack.
On October 26, AGFD Law Enforcement personnel heard pups howling in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. Radio telemetry revealed that the pups were part of the Bluestem pack. The following day, October 27, project personnel observed three wolves with the Bluestem Pack during an aerial telemetry flight. The observer was unable to determine whether or not the wolves were collared; however two collared wolves were in the area. In addition, m832 was not located with the pack and has not been documented traveling with the Bluestem pack since he was trapped on October 23.
On October 30, project personnel observed one pup traveling with M574 of the Saddle Pack.
Due to weather conditions, trapping efforts to capture and put radio collars on wild born wolves have ceased. Wolves may still be trapped for management purposes or opportunistically under certain conditions.
MORTALITIES October 7, m801 was found dead along State Highway 60 between Vernon and Springerville in Arizona. The cause of death is under investigation.
CAPTIVE MANAGEMENT October 26, F188 was captured at the Ladder Ranch Wolf Management Facility. She was given her annual exam and was then sent to the Wildlife Science Center in Forest Lake, MN. She is to be paired with M632 that was sent to the Center last year. Also, M512 and F534 were captured and both received their annual exams. F534 was then transported to Sevilleta to be paired with another male.
COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION  On October 3, an Adaptive Management Working Group meeting was held in Safford, AZ. This public meeting provided the opportunity for the AMOC to hear concerns and support raised by the general public. Other agenda items included an overview of what happened to the adaptive management efforts started last spring, the status of the interagency MOU, public involvement, a report from the field team, and questions from the audience.
On October 7, the Interagency Field Team met to discuss trapping priorities, coordination with Wildlife Services, survival monitoring during the upcoming hunting season, the five-year-review, and potential releases for next year.
On October 17, during an AGFD Commission Meeting in Phoenix, Mr. Titla, representing the San Carlos Apache Tribe, gave a presentation describing his impression of the impacts to the San Carlos cattle ranching caused by the reintroduced wolves. The Commission pointed out that the ongoing predator study, being conducted on the eastern boundary of the San Carlos Reservation, should provide some needed information on actual causes of calf mortality. Mr. Titla agreed to become more involved with the project through the AMOC.
REWARDS OFFERED The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual or individuals responsible for the shooting deaths of Mexican gray wolves. An additional $10,000 is being offered by Defenders of Wildlife, and $5,000 is being offered from the Center for Biological Diversity. 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, Pinetop, AZ, at (928) 367-5689, or 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 gray wolf is a violation of the federal Endangered Species Act, and can invoke criminal penalties of up to $25,000 and or six (6) months in jail or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.
Mexican Gray Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update-November 2003
not available
Mexican Gray Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update-December 2003
This is a summary of the Mexican gray wolf reintroduction project in Arizona and New Mexico. Additional information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at 1-888-459-WOLF, or by visiting the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s web site at http://mexicanwolf.fws.gov. Past updates may also be viewed on this website or interested parties may sign up to receive the update electronically by visiting www.azgfd.com. This update is public property and can be used for any purpose. Please distribute as you see fit. The reintroduction project is a multi-agency cooperative effort between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF), USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services (USDA-WS), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT) on the Ft. Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), the San Carlos Apache Tribe (SCAT), and other supporting organizations including the Turner Endangered Species Fund (TESF) and Defenders of Wildlife (DOW).
Please report any wolf sightings, incidents of take or harassment of wolves, or suspected livestock depredations to: (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888)-459-WOLF, or the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s 24-Hour Dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at (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 sub-adults (younger than 18 months) or pups. The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate alpha wolves.
CURRENT POPULATION STATUS As of the end of December, there were 23 radio-collared wolves in ten groups as follows: Arizona: Hawks Nest (AF486, AM619), Cienega (AF487, M795, M796), Bluestem (AF521, AM507), Saddle (AM574), M798 traveling with an un-collared wolf; Bonito Creek (AF587, AM794) and Hon-Dah (AM578) on the FAIR. New Mexico: Luna (AF562, AM583), Gapiwi (AF624) and F799 and M729 in New Mexico. There are six lone wolves, including AF511, F800, F797, M832, F858 and M859. Based on other field data (sightings, tracks, howling etc.), there are approximately 10-15 additional wolves, not including pups born this year, distributed among the groups, as well as wolves traveling separately from known groups.
MONITORING Field efforts continue to focus on monitoring wolf activity and making hunter contacts throughout Arizona, including on the FAIR, and New Mexico.
All wolf packs are using portions of their traditional home ranges, however, the Bluestem, Saddle and Hawks Nest Packs have been traveling in new areas.
The following is a brief status of wolf activities: Arizona: Recently, Hawks Nest Pack AM619 and AF486 were located north of their traditional home range.
During December, AM507 and AF521 of the Bluestem Pack were located within the Hawk’s Nest Pack home range and on the FAIR (M795 of the Cienega Pack was also in the same area); however, most recently they were located back in their traditional home range.
M795 and M796 of the Cienega pack have been making widespread dispersal movements. M795 has been located north of the Cienega pack home range on the FAIR (the Bluestem alpha pair was also in the same area) and on the SCAR. Recently, M795 traveled back to his home range, but he has since traveled back onto the FAIR and has been located in the vicinity of Hon-Dah AM578. M796 was located on the Cibola National Forest in New Mexico on December 16 and has not been located recently despite search efforts.
Saddle Pack AM574 and F797, formerly from the Francisco Pack, were located together near the Bear Wallow Wilderness and then later on the SCAR. Earlier in the month, they were both located on the northeast portion of the SCAR.
M798 has remained in the northern portion of the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. On December 29, project personnel documented an un-collared wolf, presumed to be a female, traveling with him. At the beginning of December, he was located on the FAIR.
Despite search efforts by project personnel, M832 has not been located since December 4, when his signal indicated he was southwest of Blue Vista.
F858 has been located south of the Mogollon Rim below Blue Vista in Saddle Pack’s traditional home range.
M859 remained in the Escudilla Mountain area during early December, and then moved to the Nutrioso/Nelson Reservoir area. Recently, he was located northeast of Nutrioso in New Mexico.
New Mexico: During an aerial telemetry flight on December 30 project personnel observed a wolf traveling with Gapiwi AF624 near the Gila Forest boundary.
AF511 has been located in the northwest portion of the Gila National Forest.
During early December, F799 and M729 were located together southeast of Reserve. F799 was then located mid-month southeast of Reserve; however, M729 has not been located since December 10 despite search efforts by project personnel. F799 continues to be located in the same area.
On December 8, project personnel observed F800 near the Gila Wilderness area. She was then located mid-month in the Aldo Leopold Wilderness. Recently, she was located in the Gila Wilderness.
Observation reports of wolves from the public are important as many of the wolves are currently dispersing. Please call the toll free number listed at the top.
INCIDENTS Nothing new to report.
MORTALITIES On December 21, AM194 of the Cienega Pack was found dead north of the Blue Range Primitive area on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. The cause of his death is under investigation.
On December 24, AF637 was found dead on the FAIR. The cause of her death is under investigation.
CAPTIVE MANAGEMENT Nothing new to report.
COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION On December 11, the Interagency Field Team met to discuss the 2004 Work Plan, holiday schedule coordination, captive management, and the 2003 Annual Report.
REWARDS OFFERED The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual or individuals responsible for the shooting deaths of Mexican gray wolves. An additional $10,000 is being offered by Defenders of Wildlife, and $5,000 is being offered by the Center for Biological Diversity.
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, Pinetop, AZ, at (928) 367-5689, or 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 gray wolf is a violation of the federal Endangered Species Act, and can invoke criminal penalties of up to $25,000 and/or six (6) months in jail or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.