Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Wolves
Wolf History, Conservation, Ecology and Behavior
[www.wolfology.com]
Mexican Gray Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Updates
May & June 2004
Mexican Gray Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update-May 2004
Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update May 1 – 31, 2004
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 Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), the San Carlos Apache Tribe (SCAT) on the San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), 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.
Definitions: For the purpose of this report, a “wolf pack” is defined as two or more wolves, at least one being collared, that maintain an established territory and are proven breeders. In the event that one of the two alpha wolves dies, the remaining wolf, regardless of pack size, retains the pack name. A “group” of wolves is defined as two or more wolves that travel together on a consistent basis but are not proven breeders. The Interagency Field Team (ITF) recognizes that there could be uncollared wolves that form either a group or a pack. If they are confirmed through trapping, sightings, or other methods they will be included in the appropriate category.
CURRENT POPULATION STATUS As of the end of April, the population consisted of 15 wolves with radio collars in seven packs, three groups, and two lone wolves. Arizona: Hawks Nest Pack (AF486, AM619), Cienega Pack AF487 (traveling with another uncollared wolf), Bluestem Pack (AF521, AM507), Saddle Pack AM574, M798 (traveling with an uncollared wolf), F858 (traveling with an uncollared wolf), M795; and, Hon-Dah Pack (AM578), located on the FAIR. New Mexico: Luna Pack (AF562, AM583), Francisco Pack AF511 (traveling with an uncollared wolf), M796 (traveling with an uncollared wolf), and M859.
Based on other field data (sightings, tracks, howling etc.), there are approximately 35-40 additional wolves, including pups born last year, distributed among the groups, as well as wolves traveling separately from known groups.
SEASONAL NEWS Mexican wolf pups are generally born from mid-April to mid-May. As such, project personnel are actively monitoring to determine if females are denning in order to document wild-born pups. Currently, the IFT believes that seven females have denned.
MONITORING Field efforts continue to focus on monitoring wolf activity throughout the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area, as well as on both the SCAR and the FAIR in Arizona.
The following is a brief status of wolf activities:
Arizona: WS is still attempting to capture Saddle Pack AM574 due to previous depredations on the SCAR. Project personnel no longer believe that an uncollared wolf is traveling with him. He has been traveling widely across the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, FAIR, and SCAR.
M795 remained on the FAIR during the month of May.
New Mexico: On several occasions project personnel observed M796 with an uncollared pregnant wolf in the San Mateo Mountains, outside of the recovery area. Recent sightings have confirmed that the female has whelped. The Mexican wolf final rule stipulates that wolves are not allowed to establish territories outside the recovery area. Therefore, project personnel are determining appropriate measures for management and removal of the two wolves and their pups.
M859 traveled from Arizona to the Gila National Forest in New Mexico last month and remained in New Mexico during May.
Observation reports of wolves from the public are important as many of the wolves are currently dispersing. Please call the toll free number listed above to report wolf sightings.
FATE UNKNOWN On June 1 and 2, an intensive search flight was conducted for Bonito Creek M794, Gapiwi AF624, and M832 throughout Arizona and New Mexico. None of the three wolves were located; therefore, all are now status “Fate Unknown”.
INCIDENTS On May 1, WS personnel investigated a newborn calf carcass near the San Mateo Mountains. The kill was determined to be a confirmed wolf depredation by M796and the uncollared female.
MORTALITIES On May 19, Hon-Dah yearling m823 was found dead on Highway 60, northwest of Springerville. He was released as a pup last year and had apparently dispersed from the pack. Based on reports from the public, he had been in the area for a few days. The Veterinary Medical Examination Report, released May 28, documented that the wolf died of injuries typical of vehicular trauma.
CAPTIVE MANAGEMENT Wolf F797, formerly of the Francisco Pack and recently recaptured from the wild, gave birth to five pups on April 5 at the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility. On May 25 all five pups were captured and given physical exams.
Wolf F667 gave birth to three pups on April 15 at the Ladder Ranch Wolf Management Facility. As of May 21, all three pups, at five weeks old, appeared to be doing well.
Wolf F799, recaptured from the wild, gave birth to 6 pups on April 24, at the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility. Later the same day, it was confirmed that one pup had died. Based on observations made after April 26, there have been no indications that F799 was raising the litter. On May 25, project personal searched the pen and confirmed that no pups had survived.
COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION On April 20, Dan Stark gave a wolf presentation to 30 people at the Geo Marine spotted owl camp in the Gila, NM.
On May 8, Shawna Nelson manned a wolf information booth at the Payson Wildlife Fair. Approximately 1,500 people were contacted during this event.
On May 10, an Interagency Field Team meeting was conducted at the Alpine Field Office. Primary topics included future releases in AZ and translocations in NM, the 5-Year Review, and depredation issues.
On May 15, Shawna Nelson and the Phoenix Sierra Club posted wolf informational signs in various locations in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. A wolf presentation was also given to the 16 volunteers.
PROJECT PERSONNEL Rich Bard, AGFD Wolf Technician for the past year, left the project May 21 to take a job in Maine as an Assistant Wildlife Biologist. Thank you Rich for all of your hard work and dedication!
Luis Gonzalez, a Mexican biologist intern, began working with the project May 14 as a six-month USFWS volunteer. Cassie Hallmark, AGFD intern with the National Science Foundation, began working with the project May 24 and will be here for 10 weeks.
Valerie Mitchell, formerly an intern with the Red Wolf Program, will be starting with the project May 31 as a six-month USFWS volunteer.
Laura Kelly, formerly an intern with the California Wolf Center, will be starting with the project May 31 as a six-month USFWS volunteer.
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 $35,000 is being offered by a variety of public interest groups for a total amount of up to $45,000, 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, 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-June 2004
Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update June 1 – 30, 2004
This is a summary of the Mexican 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. 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 Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), the San Carlos Apache Tribe (SCAT) on the San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), 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.
Definitions: For the purpose of this report, a “wolf pack” is defined as two or more wolves, at least one being collared, that maintain an established territory and are proven breeders. In the event that one of the two alpha wolves dies, the remaining wolf, regardless of pack size, retains the pack name. A “group” of wolves is defined as two or more wolves that travel together on a consistent basis but are not proven breeders. The Interagency Field Team (ITF) recognizes that there could be uncollared wolves that form either a group or a pack. If they are confirmed through trapping, sightings, or other methods they will be included in the appropriate category.
CURRENT POPULATION STATUS As of the end of June, the population consisted of 15 wolves with radio collars in nine packs, one group, and two lone wolves. Arizona: Hawks Nest Pack (AF486, AM619), Cienega Pack AF487 (traveling with another uncollared wolf), Bluestem Pack (AF521, AM507), Saddle Pack AM574, M798 (traveling with an uncollared wolf), F858 (traveling with an uncollared wolf)—pack name undecided, M795; and, Hon-Dah Pack (AM578), located on the FAIR. New Mexico: Luna Pack (AF562, AM583), Francisco Pack AF511 (traveling with an uncollared wolf), M796 (traveling with an uncollared wolf)—pack name undecided, and M859.
Based on other field data (sightings, tracks, howling etc.), there are approximately 35-40 additional wolves, including pups born last 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 denning behavior throughout the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area, as well as on both the SCAR and the FAIR in Arizona. Project personnel are also actively monitoring reproductive success from the females believed to have denned.
The following is a brief status of wolf activities:
Arizona: On May 25, Hawks Nest AM619 was observed by project personnel limping with an injured front leg while traveling with his mate. On June 23 and June 24, he was again observed with the same injury.
Saddle Pack AM574 was on the FAIR during June, and as such WMAT personnel are now attempting to trap him. The lethal control action (see Communication and Coordination section below), ordered June 15 by the USFWS, is still in effect and will be implemented by the IFT if AM574 moves off the FAIR and back onto the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.
M795 moved from the FAIR to the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest during June.
New Mexico: Project personnel are still attempting to determine appropriate measures for the management and removal of M796, its mate (an uncollared female wolf), and their pups in the San Mateo Mountains. Removal of these wolves is necessary because they have established a territory outside the recovery area on public land and the Mexican wolf final rule requires retrieval of wolves in such circumstances.
Observation reports of wolves from the public are important as many of the wolves are currently dispersing. Please call the toll free number listed above to report wolf sightings.
INCIDENTS IFT personnel captured a feral dog after multiple sightings and nuisance behavior reports of a “wolf-like” animal. The removal occurred east of Veron and south of Highway 60, AZ. As with any canid that is captured by the IFT, blood was taken from the dog according to standard operating protocols for future potential genetic analysis. The animal was taken to the local animal shelter.
The 8,000 acre Three Forks Fire burned through a portion of the Hawks Nest home range during June, creating a mosaic of burned forest which will improve the habitat conditions for elk and deer. The wolves remained outside of the fire perimeter during the active burn phase of the fire.
CAPTIVE MANAGEMENT On June 3 and 30, pups m871, f872, and f873 (born to F667 on April 15 at the Ladder Ranch Wolf Management Facility) were captured and given physical exams and vaccinations. All pups appeared to be doing well.
On June 15, pups m860, f861, f862, m863, and m864 (born to F797 on April 5 at Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility) were captured and given physical exams and vaccinations. All pups appeared to be doing well.
COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION On June 5, Dan Groebner worked a wolf information booth at the National Trails Day event held at Fool Hollow Lake in Show Low, AZ. Approximately 30 people were contacted.
On June 12, Dan Groebner conducted a field program in the recover area for a high school field biology class from Tempe, AZ to discuss the status of the project, make plaster tracks, and radio-track Cienega AF487. The class consisted of 17 students and four teachers.
On June 15, the USFWS issued a lethal take order on Saddle Pack AM574 due to depredations on the SCAR. AM574 is responsible for five confirmed depredations that occurred during March and April.
On June 18, Melissa Woolf gave a wolf presentation to approximately 25 children at the Randall Davey Audubon Center in Santa Fe, NM.
On June 19 and 20, Shawna Nelson, along with AGFD intern Cassie Hallmark, and USFWS volunteer Helen Trotman, worked a wolf information booth at the 2004 Hannagan Meadow Celebration held at Hannagan Meadow Lodge, AZ. Approximately 100 people were contacted during this event.
In October 2003, the Coalition of Arizona/New Mexico Counties for Stable Economic Growth filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to stop all releases and translocations of Mexican wolves and to require the removal of all Mexican wolves from the wild based on the hybrid event that took place with the Pipestem Pack in 2002. On June 29, a preliminary injunction hearing was held in Albuquerque in which both Plantiffs (Coalition of Counties) and Defendants (USFWS and Intervenors’ DOW, et al.) presented arguments for their respective sides. Judge Armijo presided, but made no decision whether to grant the injunction or not. Her decision is expected no later than July 7, 2004. All releases and translocation previously intended for June 2004 have been suspended until the ruling and will be reevaluated in July if Judge Armijo rules in favor of the Defendants.
PROJECT PERSONNEL / JOB OPENINGS: Two positions are currently open with the project:
USFWS Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator, based in Albuquerque, NM, closing date 7/8/04. Please click on the link through the USA Jobs website http://jobsearch.usajobs.opm.gov/getjob.asp?JobID=22721629&AVSDM=2004%2D06%2D23+00%3A01%3A00&Logo=0&col=dltc&cy=&brd=3876&lid=316&fn=&q= to view the full vacancy announcement.
AGFD Wildlife Technician, based in Alpine, AZ, closing date 7/16/04. For more information, please see attached announcement on last page or log onto http://azgfd.com/inside_azgfd/edits/employment_openings.shtml for more information.
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 $35,000 is being offered by a variety of public interest groups for a total amount of up to $45,000, 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, 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.
AGFD WILDLIFE TECHNICIAN "Mexican Wolf Technician" FIELD OPERATIONS / REGION 1 Alpine Wolf Office - Alpine, Arizona LIMITED POSITION / SALARY GRADE 16 ($23,259 - $40,611) JOB ANNOUNCEMENT #33-04EDA / CLOSINING DATE 7/16/04
Description of Duties: Conducts field surveys, studies, monitors, and manages the Mexican wolf sometimes under extreme environmental conditions. Writes a variety of complex correspondence, reports, and summaries from general direction using technical knowledge and expertise. Enters data into a computer database and checks for accuracy and completeness. Provides input when requested on project goals and objectives, work strategies, budget requests, data analysis, reports, and staffing. Maintains field and office equipment in safe working order. Navigates backcountry roads and trails using 4-wheel drive vehicles; packs stock on foot sometimes carrying heavy equipment over rough terrain. Assists project administrators and biologist with development and implementation of public interaction activities, such as newsletters, meetings, presentations, and direct interactions with individuals while exercising discretion in the dissemination of information about the project in accordance with established protocols. Maintain captive wolves in enclosures throughout the winter months. Collects, processes, stores, and delivers road-killed ungulates to the wolves while in acclimation pens and as supplementary food post release. Radio locates wolves through ground and aerial techniques. Collects and analyzes scats and remains of prey at kill sites.
Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities: (KSA's) The ideal candidate will have knowledge of endangered species issues, skills in wolf research and/or management, and the ability to conduct backcountry navigation, map reading and to work under extreme conditions. The candidate must have a Bachelor's degree in a wildlife science or a closely related field from an accredited college or university; OR two years of field experience equivalent to a Wildlife Assistant II. *Successful completion of a pre-employment medical/physical evaluation is required prior to appointment.
How to Apply: A Wildlife Series application Form #007 may be obtained by calling the applicant line at (602) 789-3321, or through our web site www.azgfd.com. A completed application, a current resume and college transcripts (unofficial or photocopies are accepted) must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on the closing date by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, 2221 W. Greenway Road, Phoenix, Arizona 85023, Attention: Human Resources, indicating the correct Announcement Number. Permanent or limited permanent Game & Fish employees applying must submit a current resume, accompanied by a Wildlife Resume Supplement Form 9021, no later than 5:00 p.m. on closing date.