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
January & February 2003
Mexican Gray Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update-January 2003
December 16 - January 15, 2003

WOLF PACK NEWS
Bluestem Pack (AM507, AF521, M639): Arizona The Bluestem pack has been located southwest of PS Knoll, in Bear Canyon on the southeast side of Baldy Bill Point, northeast of John Hall Cabin Tank, and south of Gobbler Point in the Bear Wallow Creek. Four wolves were observed from the air on December 19 feeding on an elk kill.
Saddle Pack (AM574, AF510): Arizona The alpha pair has been located north of Crabtree Spring, east of Chitty Falls, and east of Baldy Bill Point. The cause of death for F646, found dead on December 3 near the 25 Road and Hwy 191 in Arizona, is still under investigation. It is unknown if the pack has any surviving pups.
Hawks Nest Pack (AM619, AF486): Arizona The pack has been located in the general area of Middle Mountain, southeast of Crosby Crossing, in a drainage near Coleman Creek, and west of Three Forks and south of the Hwy 191/180 junction. On January 3 four sets of tracks were observed indicating that the pack may have two pups traveling with them. On January 13 two wolves were observed from the air on an elk kill.
Bonito Creek Pack (AF587, M794): Arizona AF587and M794 remain together and have been located west of Odart Mountain, southwest of Bonito Mountain, northwest of Maverick Mountain, and on Corn Creek Plateau. No pups have were observed with the pack during this reporting period. The necropsy report revealed gunshot to be the cause of death of AM674, former alpha male of the pack. He was found dead on October 22 on the White Mountain Apache Reservation near Loafer Cienega.
Cienega Pack (AM194, AF487, m795, m796): Arizona The pack has been located southeast of Ackre Lake, east of Beaverhead, northeast of the Hwy 191 / 26 junction, near Buckalou Tank, and south-southwest of Carlton Vista. Project personnel obtained a visual on two collared wolves on January 4 near Buckalou Tank. Further investigation of the site indicated five sets of tracks, indicating that another un-collared wolf is traveling with the pack.
Francisco Pack (AM509, AF511, f797, m798, f799, f800, m801): Arizona The pack has been located east-southeast of the Bear Wallow Creek and the Black River confluence, northwest of Malay Gap, south of Rose Spring on the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest, and northeast of Carnero Lake. On December 31, all wolves were located next to an elk kill and two wolves were observed from the air. More recently, pup m798 was located separately from the pack west of Bee Tank. Project personnel are still attempting to trap and remove the pack from the reservation at the San Carlos Apache Tribe=s request. Gapiwi Pack (AM584, AF624): New Mexico The alpha pair was seen by project personnel from the air southwest of Loco Mountain on December 26, possibly near a carcass. On January 8, project personnel hiked into the area and found an adult cow elk carcass completely cleaned up and wolf tracks near the carcass. Project personnel obtained another visual of the wolves on January 11 east-northeast of Hulse Ranch. No pups were observed with the pair during this reporting period.
Luna Pack (AM583, AF562): New Mexico The alpha pair has been located in the Brushy Mountain area in the Gila Wilderness. A visual was obtained on December 31 of two wolves lying next to an elk kill in Little Turkey Park. No pups were observed with the pair during this reporting period. Dispersal Wolves (M794, F644, F621) M794 has dispersed from the Francisco pack and is still traveling with the Bonito Creek alpha female. Francisco pack F644 has been located northwest of Greens Peak and in Corn Creek, near the Bonito Creek pack. She was observed from the air by project personnel on January 13 near Carnero Lake. Cienega F621 was last located on November 19 east of Feathery Hill, NM. Project personnel have been unable to locate her since then despite several search flights.
CAPTIVE MANAGEMENT On December 19, several new pairs were put together at Sevilleta in preparation for the upcoming breeding season and potential releases in the Spring.....Lupine Pack member, M632, was removed permanently from the Ladder Ranch as a release candidate and was transferred to a captive wolf facility, the Wildlife Science Center, in Minnesota on January 7.

INCIDENTS Project personnel investigated a depredation report of two dead cows on January 8 on the White Mountain Apache Reservation between Hondah and White River. No radio collared wolves were in the area; however, wild dogs were observed. Traps were set and on January 14, a dog was captured. It is possible that un-collared wolves killed the cows; however, the evidence suggested that dogs were more likely responsible for the depredations.
 January 16 - 31, 2003

WOLF PACK NEWS
Bluestem Pack (AM507, AF521, M639): Arizona The Bluestem pack has been located southwest of Odart mountain on the White Mountain Apache Reservation and south of Gobbler Point. On January 28, project personnel tracked the pack in the snow and observed seven sets of tracks indicating that four of the five pups released with the pack are still alive. On January 29, M639 was captured in a trap set for Francisco pack members on the San Carlos Reservation. He was re-released on January 30 near Pole Knoll. He was in excellent condition.
Saddle Pack (AM574, AF510): Arizona The alpha pair has been located northeast of the confluence of Crabtree and East Eagle Creeks and west of the 25 Road and Highway 191 junction. Project personnel tracked the pair on January 27 and observed only two sets of tracks in the snow. Survival of pups to the pair this year is unknown, but is unlikely.
Hawks Nest Pack (AM619, AF486): Arizona The pack has been located in the vicinity of Campbell Flat and northeast of Roger’s Marsh.
Bonito Creek Pack (AF587, M794): Arizona AF587 and M794 remain together and have been located northwest of Bonito Rock and west-southwest of Odart Mountain.
Cienega Pack (AM194, AF487, m795, m796): Arizona The pack has been located south-southwest of Carlton Vista, north of the Coleman Creek and Campbell Blue confluence, and northeast of the 26 Road and Highway 191 junction. Pup m796 was located northeast of the pack along Buckalou Creek and south-southwest of Beaverhead. On January 17, project personnel discovered a horse carcass the pack had been feeding on. Wildlife Services investigated and confirmed the horse was not killed by wolves. The owner was contacted and indicated the horse had been missing since November.
Francisco Pack (AM509, AF511, f797, m798, f799, f800, m801): Arizona The pack has been located southeast of Rose Spring and south of Dry Prong Tank on the San Carlos Apache Reservation. Pup m798 remained separate from the pack north of Freezeout Tank on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, but more recently has rejoined the pack. Tracks and several sightings of wolves by hunters in the area where m798 had localized indicates there were other wolves with him, suggesting the presence of un-collared wolves.
Project personnel are still attempting to trap and remove the pack from the reservation at the tribe’s request. On January 19, pup f800 was captured near Malay Gap. She was taken to the Ladder Ranch captive wolf facility where she will be held until other pack members are captured and the pack can be relocated.....On January 31, a dead cow was found on the San Carlos Apache Reservation. Wildlife Services determined the depredation to be a probable wolf kill. Both the Francisco and Bluestem packs were near the carcass; however, based on telemetry locations, it is more likely that the Francisco pack was responsible for the depredation.
Gapiwi Pack (AM584, AF624): New Mexico The alpha pair has been located northwest of Loco Mountain, as well as near Willow Creek Cabin, and north-northeast of Loco Mountain Tank in the Gila National Forest. On January 23, project personnel followed two sets of wolf tracks in patchy snow for nearly a mile. During the January 27 telemetry flight, two wolves (1 collared; 1 unknown) were seen near a kill. Project personnel hiked in to locate the kill the next day. They found the carcass, a cow elk, and observed the pair feeding on the it; both wolves were in excellent condition. On the hike in, only two sets of tracks were seen. The carcass was observed over the next few days to determine if any pups remain with the pair. The pair was seen again feeding on the carcass on January 29; no pups were ever observed. Previously, one pup had been confirmed with the pack; however, based on these recent observations of only two wolves and two sets of tracks, it is unlikely the pack has any surviving pups.
Luna Pack (AM583, AF562): New Mexico The alpha pair has been located north of Little Turkey Park and south-southeast of Jackass Park in the Gila National Forest.
Dispersal Wolves (M794, F644, F621) M794 has dispersed from the Francisco pack and is still traveling with the Bonito Creek alpha female. Francisco pack F644 has been located northeast of Tonto Lake and northeast of Buckhorn Tank on the White Mountain Apache Reservation. Cienega F621 was last located on November 19 east of Feathery Hill, NM. Project personnel have been unable to locate her since then despite several search flights.
FATE UNKNOWN (indicates wolves that have not been located for three months or longer). M555 (Gavilan Pack – last signal 02/12/00) M627 (Pipestem Pack – last signal 07/02/00) F189 (Mule Pack – last signal 02/02/01) F127 (Hawk’s Nest Pack - slipped out of radio collar; last seen 9/19/98) F579 (Mule Pack un-collared pup released 5/24/99) M581 (Mule Pack un-collared pup released 5/24/99) M586 (Gavilan Pack un-collared pup released 5/22/99) M641 (Francisco Pack un-collared pup released 7/15/00) M642 (Francisco Pack un-collared pup released 7/15/00) M643 (Francisco Pack un-collared pup released 7/15/00) M678 (Lupine Pack un-collared pup released 6/20/01) F679 (Lupine Pack un-collared pup released 6/20/01) M680 (Lupine Pack un-collared pup released 6/20/01) Three un-collared Hawk’s Nest pups (sexes unknown) released 6/3/99 m754 (Bluestem Pack un-collared pup released 6/11/02; sighting 1/28/03 indicates at least 4 of the 5 pups are still with the pack) m755 (Bluestem Pack un-collared pup released 6/11/02; sighting 1/28/03 indicates at least 4 of the 5 pups are still with the pack) m756 (Bluestem Pack un-collared pup released 6/11/02; sighting 1/28/03 indicates at least 4 of the 5 pups are still with the pack) f757 (Bluestem Pack un-collared pup released 6/11/02; sighting 1/28/03 indicates at least 4 of the 5 pups are still with the pack) f758 (Bluestem Pack un-collared pup released 6/11/02; sighting 1/28/03 indicates at least 4 of the 5 pups are still with the pack)

INCIDENTS On January 17, project personnel discovered a horse carcass southwest of Carlton Vista in the Apache National Forest that the wolves had apparently been feeding on. It was later confirmed by Wildlife Services that the horse had not been killed by wolves.
Wildlife Services determined a dead cow found on the San Carlos Apache Reservation to be a probable wolf kill. The Francisco pack is the most likely pack to have been involved (see Francisco Pack section).
Mexican Gray Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update-February 2003
February 1 - 15, 2003

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS The current Mexican wolf population includes 24 radio collared wolves representing 8 packs and 2 lone or dispersing wolves. Based on other data from the field (sightings, tracks, etc.) we believe there is a minimum of 16 additional wolves currently surviving. This does not take into account fate unknown wolves (i.e. pups released prior to 2002 without radio collars, pups born in the wild prior to 2002 that have not been captured/ radio collared, and wolves whose radio collars have gone off the air that may still be free-ranging).

WOLF PACK NEWS
Bluestem Pack (AM507, AF521, M639): Arizona The Bluestem pack consists of the alpha pair, M639, plus up to four un-collared pups. They have been located in Centerfire Creek northwest of PS Knoll. Since M639's re-release on January 30 near Poll Knoll, he has been located south of Vernon. Most recently, he has been located in Vernon Creek, near Coon Mountain.
Saddle Pack (AM574, AF510): Arizona The Saddle pack consists of the alpha pair; no other wolves are known to be associated with the pack. The pair has been located on top of the Mogollon Rim just east of Baldy Bill Point.
Hawks Nest Pack (AM619, AF486): Arizona The Hawk’s Nest pack consists of the alpha pair plus up to three un-collared pups. They have been located northwest of Crosby Crossing as well as southeast of Three Forks.
Bonito Creek Pack (AF587, M794): Arizona The Bonito Creek pack consists of the alpha pair plus up to three un-collared pups. The pair has been located northeast of Upper Corn Tank.
Cienega Pack (AM194, AF487, m795, m796): Arizona The Cienega pack consists of the alpha pair, pups m795 and m796, plus two un-collared wolves (1 pup and 1 yearling). The pack has been located north of the Red Hill Road. On February 13, non-project personnel witnessed four wolves from the pack chasing a herd of elk through an open valley and then attacking a young elk. They were then seen on several occasions over a 2 day period feeding on the kill. Project personnel observed three wolves, one of which was un-collared, on February 15 near the kill.
Francisco Pack (AM509, AF511, f797, m798, f799, m801): Arizona The Francisco pack consists of the alpha pair, four collared pups, and two un-collared wolves. The pack has been located northeast of the Four Drag Ranch. Pup f797 has been located northwest of Willow Mountain on the San Carlos Apache Reservation. The pack has also been located south of BS Tank, near BS Gap, and east of Malay Gap on the San Carlos Apache Reservation.....Project personnel are still attempting to trap and remove the pack from the reservation at the tribe’s request. No wolves were captured during this reporting period.
Gapiwi Pack (AM584, AF624): New Mexico The Gapiwi pack consists of the alpha pair and possibly one un-collared pup. The pair has been located northeast of Loco Mountain.
Luna Pack (AM583, AF562): New Mexico The Luna pack consists of the alpha pair plus up to two un-collared pups. The pair has been located south-southwest of Cub Mountain. On February 15, project personnel found an adult cow elk that had been killed by the wolves. There were numerous wolf tracks but it was impossible to tell how many wolves were with the pack. However, a short distance from the carcass, three beds that the wolves had recently used were found.
Dispersal Wolves ( F644) F644, previously associated with the Francisco pack, has been located west of Greens Peak. Additionally, an un-collared wolf has been observed several times by project personnel near Holly Lake, AZ in the same general area as F644. The pack origin of this wolf is unknown.

FATE UNKNOWN M555 (Gavilan Pack – last signal 02/12/00) M627 (Pipestem Pack – last signal 07/02/00) F189 (Mule Pack – last signal 02/02/01) F127 (Hawk’s Nest Pack - slipped out of radio collar; last seen 9/19/98) F579 (Mule Pack un-collared pup released 5/24/99) M581 (Mule Pack un-collared pup released 5/24/99) M586 (Gavilan Pack un-collared pup released 5/22/99) M641 (Francisco Pack un-collared pup released 7/15/00) M642 (Francisco Pack un-collared pup released 7/15/00) M643 (Francisco Pack un-collared pup released 7/15/00) M678 (Lupine Pack un-collared pup released 6/20/01) F679 (Lupine Pack un-collared pup released 6/20/01) M680 (Lupine Pack un-collared pup released 6/20/01) Three un-collared Hawk’s Nest pups (sexes unknown) released 6/3/99 m754 (Bluestem Pack un-collared pup released 6/11/02; sighting 1/28/03 indicates at least 4 of the 5 pups are still with the pack) m755 (Bluestem Pack un-collared pup released 6/11/02; sighting 1/28/03 indicates at least 4 of the 5 pups are still with the pack) m756 (Bluestem Pack un-collared pup released 6/11/02; sighting 1/28/03 indicates at least 4 of the 5 pups are still with the pack) f757 (Bluestem Pack un-collared pup released 6/11/02; sighting 1/28/03 indicates at least 4 of the 5 pups are still with the pack) f758 (Bluestem Pack un-collared pup released 6/11/02; sighting 1/28/03 indicates at least 4 of the 5 pups are still with the pack) F621 (Cienega Pack – last signal 11/19/02)
CAPTIVE MANAGEMENT On February 3, several wolf pairs at the Sevilleta wolf management facility were separated to prevent breeding.

INCIDENTS On February 8, project personnel were notified of a dead heifer at Grapevine Tank on the San Carlos Reservation. Wildlife Services investigated and determined it to be a possible wolf kill but since the carcass had already been dead 7 - 10 days, it was difficult to determine the cause of death. If wolves were responsible, the most likely pack involved would have been the Francisco pack.
 February 16 - 28, 2003

This is a brief summary of current information about the Mexican gray wolf reintroduction program in Arizona and New Mexico. Additional information can be obtained by calling (505) 248-6652 or (928) 367-4281 or by visiting our web site, http://mexicanwolf.fws.gov. Call toll-free at (888) 459-9653 to report suspected livestock depredations, incidents of take or harassment of wolves, or wolf sightings. The reintroduction is a multi-agency cooperative effort between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGF), New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMGF), USDA-Wildlife Services (USDA-WS), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the Turner Endangered Species Fund (TESF), and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).
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. Capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate alpha wolves.

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS The current Mexican wolf population includes 25 radio-collared wolves representing 8 packs and 2 lone or dispersing wolves. Based on other data from the field (sightings, tracks, etc.) we believe there is a minimum of 16 additional wolves currently surviving. This does not take into account fate unknown wolves (i.e. pups released prior to 2002 without radio collars, pups born in the wild prior to 2002 that have not been captured/ radio collared, and wolves whose radio collars have gone off the air that may still be free-ranging).

WOLF PACK NEWS
Bluestem Pack (AM507, AF521, m756): Arizona The Bluestem pack consists of the alpha pair, pup m756, plus up to three un-collared pups. On February 21, pup m756 was captured ½ mile west of the Apache-Sitgreaves Forest boundary on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in a trap set for the Francisco pack. He was one of the five pups released with the pack in June, 2002 when just six weeks old. He was in good physical condition, weighing 74 pounds. He was removed from the reservation and released later the same day near PS Knoll. He has since rejoined his pack. The pack has been located north of Buffalo Crossing. Project personnel observed the alpha pair, pup m756, plus three additional wolves on February 24 during the telemetry flight.
Saddle Pack (AM574, AF510): Arizona The Saddle pack consists of the alpha pair; no other wolves are known to be associated with the pack. The pair has been located just north of Baldy Bill Point.
Hawks Nest Pack (AM619, AF486): Arizona The Hawk’s Nest pack consists of the alpha pair plus up to two un-collared pups. They have been located northwest of Tenney Mountain and northeast of Big Lake.
Bonito Creek Pack (AM794, AF587): Arizona The Bonito Creek pack consists of the alpha pair plus up to three un-collared pups. The pair has been located east of Christmas Tree Lake on the White Mountain Apache Reservation.
Cienega Pack (AM194, AF487, m795, m796): Arizona The Cienega pack consists of the alpha pair, pups m795 and m796, plus two un-collared wolves (1 pup and 1 yearling). The pack has been located south-southwest of Buffalo Crossing and west of PS Knoll. Pup m796 has been located apart from the pack east of Hannagan Meadow.
Francisco Pack (AM509, AF511, f797, m798, f799, m801): Arizona The Francisco pack consists of the alpha pair, four collared pups, and two un-collared wolves. They have been located in Bear Wallow Creek and east of Loafer Tank on the San Carlos Apache Reservation. All six of the radio-collared wolves were observed on February 24. Project personnel are still attempting to trap and remove the pack from the reservation at the tribe’s request. No Francisco pack wolves were captured during this reporting period. Pup f800 remains in captivity at Ladder Ranch since her capture in January.
Gapiwi Pack (AM584, AF624): New Mexico The Gapiwi pack consists of the alpha pair and possibly one un-collared pup. The pair has been located just north of Loco Mountain and in Cooney Canyon.
Luna Pack (AM583, AF562): New Mexico The Luna pack consists of the alpha pair plus up to two un-collared pups. The pair has been located southwest of Lilley Park and southwest of White Creek Cabin in the Gila Wilderness. Four wolves were observed during the February 24 flight. Dispersal Wolves (F644, M639) F644, previously associated with the Francisco pack, has been traveling with Bluestem M639 since February 21. They have been located northeast of Cerro Trigo, AZ.

CAPTIVE MANAGEMENT Two wolves (F635, F638) housed at the Sevilleta wolf facility were separated due to aggressive behavior on February 17. Behavior of this nature is fairly common during the breeding season and it is often necessary to intervene to prevent injuries.....Project personnel have been monitoring wolf pairings at the Sevilleta and Ladder Ranch wolf facilities for breeding behavior. Based on observations, breeding occurred during the last week of February and into the first week of March. After a 63-day gestation period, pups are expected late April/early May. Eight wolves were paired for this year’s breeding season.

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). Investigations into the following illegal killings are ongoing:
C Campbell Blue alpha female, AF174, was shot on August 7, 1998, in the Williams Valley area near Alpine, Arizona. C Hawk’s Nest male, m532, was found dead from gunshot wounds near the Arizona/New Mexico state line on November 7, 1998. C Hawk’s Nest male, m531, was found dead from gunshot wounds on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation on November 23, 1998. C Francisco yearling male, m590, was found dead from gunshot wounds on December 18, 2000 approximately ½ mile north of Highway 12 in the Apache National Forest’s Divide wood cutting area near Aragon, New Mexico. C Saddle Pack yearling female, f645, was found dead from gunshot wounds on November 5, 2001 near Forest Road 117, south of Highway 60, in the Greens Peak area near Vernon, Arizona. C The Lupine Pack alpha female, AF169, was found dead from gunshot wounds on November 15, 2001 near Maverick Mountain on the White Mountain Apache Reservation. C Lupine yearling male, m630, was found dead from gunshot wounds December 3, 2001, 18 miles northwest of Springerville, south of Highway 60 in Apache County, Arizona. C Lupine yearling F634 was found dead from gunshot wounds on December 7, 2001at the Woods Canyon Lake area in Arizona. C Bonito Creek AM674 was found dead from gunshot wounds on October 22, 2002 on the White Mountain Apache Reservation near Loafer Cienega. C Saddle Pack F646was found dead from gunshot wounds in Arizona on December 3, 2002 near the 25 Road and Highway 191.
Individuals with information they believe may be helpful should call one of these agencies: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents in Mesa, AZ at (480) 967-7900 or Pinetop at (928) 367-5689; the White Mountain Apache Tribe at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; Arizona Game and Fish Operation Game Thief at 1-800-352-0700; or New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Operation Game Thief at 1-800-432-4263.
The killing of a Mexican gray wolf is a violation of Federal and State’s of Arizona and New Mexico laws. Violations of the Federal Endangered Species Act can invoke criminal penalties of up to $25,000 and /or six months in jail, or a civic penalty of up to $10,000.