Wyoming wolves killing sheep, cattle, dogs
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
August 11, 2009
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports:
"On 8/1/09, Wyoming Game and Fish Department and USDA Wildlife Services confirmed a calf killed by wolves in the Upper Green River drainage. At least 7 carcasses from cattle that died from causes other than wolf predation were left in general vicinity where the depredation occurred.
On 8/6/09, WGFD investigated 11 additional dead cattle in the same area. Two dead cattle were confirmed as bear kill, but 9 other cattle died from causes other than predation. Carcasses left in the area have become an attractant to wolves and therefore no wolf control will be implemented. The USFWS will meet next week with the livestock producers, WGFD, and Wildlife Services to resolve carcass disposal issues.
As specified in the 1994 Final EIS, "The following conditions and criteria will apply in determining the problem status of wolves within the nonessential experimental areas…..Artificial or intentional feeding of wolves must not have occurred. Livestock carcasses not properly disposed of in an area where depredations have occurred will be considered attractants. On Federal lands, removal or resolution of such attractants must accompany any control action. Livestock carrion or carcasses on Federal land, not being used as bait in an authorized control action, must be removed, buried, burned, or otherwise disposed of such that the carcasses will not attract wolves......."(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1988. Interim Wolf Control Plan: Northern Rocky Mountains of Montana and Wyoming; The Reintroduction of Gray Wolves to Yellowstone National park and Central Idaho – Final EIS. 1994)
On 8/1/09, WY Wildlife Services confirmed a calf killed by wolves south of Hwy 28 near South Pass in the Sweetwater drainage. The area is heavily grazed by sheep and cattle. Wolves in nearby areas in past years have caused numerous cattle and sheep depredations. Wildlife Services flew telemetry flights and made several investigations on the ground to determine that 2 radio collared wolves were in the area. The USFWS requested Wildlife Services to remove both wolves. On 8/6/09, 2 adult wolves were removed and control was completed.
This year, 3 packs of wolves have recolonized parts in Wyoming which are heavily grazed by domestic sheep during summer months. All 3 packs have killed exceptionally large numbers of sheep:
On 8/3/09, WY Wildlife Services confirmed 2 sheep killed on private land in the southern Big Horn Mountains. The land owner saw 2 black wolves walking along the fence line of his pasture. The USFWS issued the landowner a Shoot-on-Site Permit and Wildlife Services will attempt to remove the 2 wolves from the area where these recent depredations occurred. This summer, >2 wolves have killed a total of >70 sheep (owned by 5 different producers) in this general vicinity, but previous control efforts have been unsuccessful.
On 8/3/09, Wildlife Services confirmed 1 sheep killed by wolves on a public grazing allotment north of Pinedale. Since 7/21/09, wolves have killed 1 yearling steer, >26 sheep (22 ewes and 4 lambs), and injured 1 guard dog in this area. Control efforts are ongoing to remove all wolves involved in the depredations.
On 8/4/09, Idaho Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves from the Dog Creek Pack killed 15 sheep (13 lambs, 2 ewes) and 2 guard dogs on a public grazing allotment in the Hoback drainage in Wyoming. Control efforts are ongoing."