Volume 2, Number 43 - January 23, 2003
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
Lost: one very large wolf pack
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued its weekly wolf report this week noting that the 20-some member Nez Perce wolf pack, which usually inhabits Yellowstone National Park, hasn't been seen for a month, despite aerial and ground search efforts.
"Anyone seeing new wolf pack activity within 100 miles of Yellowstone Park is asked to call us as soon as possible," the report stated. "We are continuing to search for them. Last year they traveled into southeast Idaho."
So if it seems like there are wolves scattered all over Sublette County right now, that's probably because they are.
Four wolves have been sighted in the New Fork River bottom between Boulder and Highway 351. This is the general area where two wolves were killed by USDA Wildlife Services (the federal agency formerly known as Animal Damage Control) Jan. 7. The wolves were once part of the Teton wolf pack, which according to FWS (the wolf recovery agency), had been involved in livestock depredations on four previous occasions.
Some wolf advocates are bemoaning the fact that the two wolves were killed, but used the opportunity to claim that the wolves had obviously used the ancestral wildlife migration route from Trappers' Point across the Mesa, headed for the Little Colorado Desert, so the migration route needs protection from all the plundering by humans. Their views are expressed on the website www.forwolves.org/ralph under the wolf update heading.
At last count, the Yellowstone region had 280 wolves in 18 breeding pairs. This area encompasses parts of three states. Central Idaho has an additional 285 wolves in 10 breeding pairs and northwestern Montana has 116 wolves in 13 breeding pairs. This totals to 681 wolves in 41 breeding pairs, surpassing wolf recovery goals.
Anyone who happens to see 20 or more wolves in their area should call Mike Jimenez of FWS at 307-332-7789 or 307-330-5620.
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