Wyoming wolf update
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
August 20, 2009
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports:
On 8/11/09, WY Wildlife Services confirmed a 300 lb calf killed by wolves on private property, west of Daniel, WY. A pack of 4-6 wolves has been in the vicinity since last winter. Wildlife Services will attempt to trap and radio collar >1 wolf.
Wolves from the Dog Creek Pack in the Hoback drainage killed 15 sheep and 2 guard dogs on 8/4/09. This week, the sheep producer reported an additional 23 sheep and a third guard dog were killed. Control is ongoing to reduce the size of this depredating pack.
The USFWS responded to 2 complaints involving wolves habituating to human residences and horse corrals but not leaving the area when people have tried to chase them away. Wolves harassed a mule and several horses kept at a USFS cabin in the Upper Green River drainage. Wolves chased the animals and eventually bit the mule on its front leg. Rubber bullets were issued to owner for him to shoot at wolves if they return to the pasture. Rubber bullets were also issued to a local resident north of Jackson when wolves repeatedly came onto private property but wouldn’t leave when the resident tried to scare them away.
At least 1 adult and 2 pups from the Antelope Pack near Jackson, WY show signs of mange. Last winter when the USFWS radio collared wolves in the area, > 6 adult wolves from the Antelope Pack had noticeable hair loss due to mange. Pups are very vulnerable to mange and other parasites, and often don’t survive mange infestation.
This summer, the USFWS continues to monitor and document reproducing wolf packs in Wyoming (outside YNP). At least 16 packs have produced pups this year. Litter sizes have ranged from 4 pups to a record high of 12-15 pups produced in 2 (possibly 3) litters in the Buffalo Pack.