From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 4, Number 20 - August 12, 2004
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Black Widow wolf still roaming

by Cat Urbigkit

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that efforts to locate and radio collar wolves from the Daniel pack began last week, but all that was found was another dead wolf. FWS's Mike Jimenez said in an interview Tuesday evening that last Friday, the last of the collared wolves from the Daniel pack was found dead in the Greys River drainage.

All four collared wolves from the Daniel pack died last winter and federal forensics officials are attempting to determine the causes of their deaths.

According to a FWS weekly wolf report, biologists had not located the fourth collared wolf since early last winter, but it was found in the same area as the other three and seemed to have died about the same time as the others. Poisoning is suspected, according to FWS, and the area will be searched for other wolf carcasses.

Jimenez said that although USDA Wildlife Services has been authorized to kill the Green River female wolf, which has been a chronic livestock killer for the past three years, efforts to take the wolf out have failed thus far. Her past three mates were killed for chronic depredations shortly after they began associating with her. FWS reports that a new uncollared wolf has recently joined this 'Black Widow' female. This new wolf, an assumed male, is not known to have depredated and if trapped, will be collared and released on site. FWS reported that if both the animals depredate, both will be removed.

Although federal officials killed a pack of nine wolves near McCall, Idaho, last month after the pack had killed about 100 domestic sheep, other wolf packs in this sheep range are causing damage as well, and are bold in their efforts.

FWS reported: "The Partridge pack continued to test sheep in the Little French Creek drainage. Nez Perce biologists worked with herders to haze wolves from the sheep band. ... Both the Partridge pack and the Hazard Lake pack continue to be in close proximity to bands of sheep. Nez Perce biologists are monitoring these packs closely from the air and ground and working closely with the producer to address this situation. Herders have been issued radio receivers and rubber bullets and are doing a good job of monitoring and hazing wolves.

"The herders are also bedding the sheep at camp so they can keep a close eye on things. Sheep bands are protected by four to five guard dogs/band. The producer and staff are working overtime to keep wolves out of their bands. We appreciate everything they are doing to try to keep wolves away from the sheep and mitigate losses, but suspected and verified depredations on sheep are continuing in the McCall area."

After numerous unsuccessful attempts at non-lethal control of these wolves, FWS requested USDA Wildlife Services specialists kill two radio-collared wolves from the Hazard Pack that have been implicated in the depredations.

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