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Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project News – July 2011

[large thumbnail url=”mexican-wolf-reintroduction-project-news-–-july-2011″ filename=”news” year=”2011″ month=”08″ day=”10″] [thumbnail icon url=”mexican-wolf-reintroduction-project-news-–-july-2011″ filename=”news” year=”2011″ month=”08″ day=”10″] The Arizona Fish and Game Department released their monthly Mexican gray wolf update for July.

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project News

Monthly Status Report: July 1-31, 2011

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in Arizona on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (ASNF) and Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR) and in New Mexico on the Apache National Forest (ANF) and Gila National Forest (GNF). Non-tribal lands involved in this Project are collectively known as the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area (BRWRA). Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf. ; Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically by visiting http://www.azgfd.gov/signup. ; This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose. The Reintroduction Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT). Other entities, including private individuals and nongovernmental organizations, cooperate through the Project’s Adaptive Management Work Group (AMWG) that meets periodically in Arizona and New Mexico.

To view weekly wolf telemetry flight location information or the 3-month wolf distribution map, please visit http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf. ; On the home page, go to the “Wolf Location Information” heading on the right side of the page near the top and scroll to the specific location information you seek.

Please report any wolf sightings or suspected livestock depredations to: (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653. To report incidents of take or harassment of wolves, please call the AGFD 24-hour dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at (800) 352-0700.

Numbering System: Mexican wolves are given an identification number recorded in an official studbook that tracks their history. Capital letters (M = Male, F = Female) preceding the number indicate adult animals 24 months or older. Lower case letters (m = male, f = female) indicate wolves younger than 24 months or pups. The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate alpha wolves.

Definitions: A “wolf pack” is defined as two or more wolves that maintain an established territory. In the event that one of the two alpha (dominant) wolves dies, the remaining alpha wolf, regardless of pack size, retains the pack status. The packs referenced in this update contain at least one wolf with a radio telemetry collar attached to it. The Interagency Field Team (IFT) recognizes that wolves without radio telemetry collars may also form packs. If the IFT confirms that wolves are associating with each other and are resident within the same home range, they will be referenced as a pack.

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

At the end of July 2011, the collared population consisted of 24 wolves with functional radio collars dispersed among ten packs and three single wolves. Some other uncollared wolves are known to be associating with radio-collared wolves, and others are separate from known packs.

Seasonal note: During the past three months, the IFT has been actively monitoring wolf packs to determine if females are denning in order to document wild-born pups and estimate their survival. At the end of July, the IFT determined the following packs have produced pups during this year’s denning season: Paradise, Hawks Nest, Bluestem, San Mateo, Luna and Middle Fork. Three other packs, Fox Mountain, Dark Canyon and Rim, have displayed denning behavior; however, the IFT has been unable to confirm the presence of pups with these packs. Three of these packs in Arizona, including Hawks Nest, Bluestem and Rim, were impacted by the Wallow Fire in June. At least two pups from the Bluestem Pack and six pups from the Hawks Nest Pack were documented alive after the fire impacts had subsided. The IFT is working to determine if any pups from the Rim Pack are currently traveling with that pack.

IN ARIZONA:

Bluestem Pack (collared AM806 and AF1042)

Throughout July, the IFT located AM806 and AF1042 in their traditional territory in the central portion of the ASNF. The IFT confirmed at least two pups with this pack in July. Their den area was impacted by the Wallow Fire earlier this summer.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AF1110 and f1208)

In July, AF1110 and f1208 continued to use their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the ASNF. The IFT confirmed the presence of six pups with this pack in July. This pack’s den area was impacted by the Wallow Fire; however, the IFT has continued to locate AF1110 and f1208 in the vicinity adjacent to the original den site throughout July.

Rim Pack (collared AM1107, AF858, f1187 and f1213)

Throughout July, the IFT located the Rim Pack utilizing its summer range on the central portion of the ASNF. The den area for this pack was impacted by the Wallow Fire, also. The IFT has been unable to document the presence of any pups with this pack in July.

Paradise Pack (collared AM795)

In July, AM795 utilized the traditional summer range of its territory on the northern portion of the ASNF. The IFT has confirmed the presence of at least five pups with this pack this month.

ON THE FAIR:

M1183 (collared)

During July, the IFT located this wolf on the FAIR.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Dark Canyon (collared AM992 and AF923)

Throughout July, the IFT located the Dark Canyon Pack within its traditional territory in the west-central portion of the GNF. This pack has localized in a portion of its territory, indicating the wolves had potentially produced pups this spring. The IFT has been unable to document the presence of any pups with this pack this month.

Fox Mountain Pack (collared M1158 and F1188)

Throughout July, the IFT documented these wolves together in the northwest portion of the GNF. This pack has localized in a portion of its territory, indicating the wolves had also potentially produced pups this spring. The IFT has been unable to document the presence of any pups with this pack this month.

Luna Pack (collared AF1115)

In July, the IFT located the Luna Pack within its traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF. The IFT has confirmed the presence of at least six pups with this pack this month.

Middle Fork Pack (collared AM871, AF861 and f1211)

In July, the IFT located AM871 and AF861 within their traditional territory in the central portion of the GNF and the Gila Wilderness Area. The IFT confirmed the presence of at least six pups with this pack this month. The IFT located f1211 traveling apart from AF861 and AM871 in the west-central portion of the GNF since late May. This wolf is now considered a single wolf.

Morgart’s Pack (collared M1155)

Throughout July, the IFT documented this wolf traveling through the central portion of the GNF.

San Mateo Pack (collared AM1157, AF903 and f1212)

During July, the IFT located these wolves in the traditional San Mateo Pack territory in the north-central portion of the GNF. The IFT has determined that this pack is denning, and at least five pups were documented with this pack earlier this summer.

M1185 (collared)

Throughout July, the IFT located this wolf in the north-central portion of the GNF. The IFT documented this wolf briefly traveling in the Luna Pack territory in July.

F1105 (collared)

In early July, the IFT documented this wolf traveling through the northern portions of the GNF. The IFT confirmed this wolf produced a litter of hybrid pups from a pairing with a domestic dog this spring. Four of the five pups produced have been removed and humanely euthanized. Since that time, F1105 has been traveling with the remaining pup. WS personnel captured F1105 in July, and after replacing the telemetry collar, briefly held it in a pen in the capture area in order to facilitate efforts to locate and remove the remaining pup. F1105 was released from the holding pen after a short time, and efforts to locate the pup are continuing.

MORTALITIES

No mortalities were reported this month.

INCIDENTS

During July, IFT personnel investigated seven livestock depredation incidents in the BRWRA and determined that six of the incidents involved Mexican wolves.

On July 3, a livestock producer near Norton Reservoir on the ASNF located a dead domestic sheep ram. WS personnel investigated the carcass and determined the ram was killed by at least two wolves. The incident was assigned to AM795 of the Paradise Pack.

On July 6, a livestock producer located a dead calf in the vicinity of Romero Creek on the GNF. WS personnel investigated the carcass and determined it had been killed by a wolf. The incident was assigned to the Fox Mountain Pack.

On July 9, a livestock producer located a dead yearling heifer in a water tank near Cooney Point on the GNF. WS personnel investigated the carcass and determined it had been killed by a wolf. The incident was assigned to the Middle Fork Pack.

On July 9, a livestock producer located a dead yearling (sex unknown) in the vicinity of the Bursom Road near Cooney Point on the GNF. WS personnel investigated the carcass and determined that it had been killed by a wolf. The incident was assigned to the Middle Fork Pack.

On July 12, a livestock producer found several of his horses that appeared to have been chased through a fence. A colt with the horses suffered injuries to its legs and had to be euthanized as a result of the injuries. The incident was assigned to the Dark Canyon Pack.

On July 17, a livestock producer located a dead calf in the vicinity of Escondido Mountain on the GNF. WS personnel investigated and determined the calf had been killed by a black bear.

On July 18, IFT personnel located a dead yearling on the SCAR. WS personnel investigated the carcass and determined it had been killed by a wolf. The incident was assigned to the Rim Pack.

CAPTIVE MANAGEMENT

On July 13, Project personnel at the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility captured, evaluated and immunized five ten-week-old pups (mp1215, fp1216, fp1217, fp1218 and fp1219). These pups are the offspring of M968 and F1064. All of the pups were healthy.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On July 28, Melissa Kreutzian and Susan Dicks participated with the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in an outreach program to a group of twenty students and adults. The groups were Fishin’ Buddies from Chicago, IL, and the Youth Conservation Corps program from the local New Mexico community.

On July 13-17, FWS personnel participated in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan annual meeting and Reunion Sobre el Lobo Mexicano in Mexico City, Mexico.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

No significant activity occurred during the month of July.

REWARDS OFFERED

The USFWS is offering a reward of up to $10,000; the AGFD Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000; and the NMDGF is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of Mexican wolves. A variety of non-governmental organizations and private individuals have pledged an additional $46,000 for a total reward amount of up to $58,000, depending on the information provided.

Individuals with information they believe may be helpful are urged to call one of the following agencies: USFWS special agents in Mesa, Arizona, at (480) 967-7900, in Alpine, Arizona, at (928) 339-4232, or in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at (505) 346-7828; the WMAT at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; AGFD Operation Game Thief at (800) 352-0700; or NMDGF Operation Game Thief at (800) 432-4263. Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act and can result in criminal penalties of up to $50,000, and/or not more than one year in jail, and/or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.

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