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Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project News – August 2011

[large thumbnail url=”mexican-wolf-reintroduction-project-news-–-august-2011″ filename=”news” year=”2011″ month=”09″ day=”08″] [thumbnail icon url=”mexican-wolf-reintroduction-project-news-–-august-2011″ filename=”news” year=”2011″ month=”09″ day=”08″] The Arizona Fish and Game Department released their monthly Mexican gray wolf update for August.

Monthly Status Report: August 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 August 2011, the collared population consisted of 26 wolves with functional radio collars dispersed among ten packs and four 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 through the summer. At the end of August, 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, displayed denning behavior; however, the IFT has been unable to confirm the presence of pups with these packs.

In Arizona, the IFT documented at least two pups from the Bluestem Pack, two pups from the Paradise pack, and five pups from the Hawks Nest Pack alive during the month of August. The IFT is working to determine if any pups from the Rim Pack are currently traveling with that pack. In New Mexico, at least seven pups were documented with the Middle Fork Pack, six pups with the Luna Pack, and at least one pup with the San Mateo pack in August.

This month, the IFT initiated fall trapping efforts to document pack status and pup recruitment in several packs in the BRWRA. We successfully trapped and collared two new male pups from the Bluestem Pack, mp1240 and mp1242, and one new male pup from the Luna Pack, mp1241, as a result of these efforts. The IFT will continue efforts to trap and collar other pups from the Hawks Nest, Paradise and San Mateo Packs in September.

IN ARIZONA:

Bluestem Pack (collared AM806, AF1042, mp1240 and mp1242)
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 August. The pack’s den area was impacted by the Wallow Fire earlier this summer; however this pack has remained within their traditional summer range.

Hawks Nest Pack (f1208)
In August, AF1110 and f1208 continued to use their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the ASNF. The IFT located the breeding female for this pack, AF1110, dead within the traditional pack territory this month. At least two other adult-sized, uncollared wolves and five pups were documented with this pack in August.

Rim Pack (collared AM1107, AF858, F1187 and F1213)
Throughout August, 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. The IFT has been unable to document the presence of any pups with this pack in August.

Paradise Pack (collared AM795)
In August, 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 two pups with this pack this month.

ON THE FAIR:

M1183 (collared)
During August, the IFT located this wolf on the FAIR.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Dark Canyon (collared AM992 and AF923)
Throughout August, the IFT located the Dark Canyon Pack within its traditional territory in the west-central portion of the GNF. 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 August, the IFT documented these wolves together in the northwest portion of the GNF. The IFT has been unable to document the presence of any pups this month. The pack has been traveling widely throughout their territory.

Luna Pack (collared AF1115 and mp1241)
In August, the IFT located the Luna Pack within its traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF. The IFT confirmed the presence of at least six pups with this pack this month.

Middle Fork Pack (collared AM871 and AF861)
In August, the IFT located AM871 and AF861 within their traditional territory in the central portion of the GNF. The IFT confirmed the presence of at least seven pups with this pack this month. The IFT documented 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 August, the IFT documented this wolf traveling through the central portion of the GNF.

San Mateo Pack (collared AM1157, AF903 and f1212)
During August, the IFT located these wolves in the traditional San Mateo Pack territory in the north-central portion of the GNF. At least one pup and one adult-sized, uncollared wolf were documented with this pack this month.

M1185 (collared)
Throughout August, the IFT located this wolf in the north-central portion of the GNF.

F1105 (collared)
In August, the IFT continued efforts to document the presence of the one remaining hybrid pup which this wolf produced this past spring. At the end August, no evidence of the presence of the pup was collected by the IFT. F1105 began to travel much more widely through the BRWRA in New Mexico as the month progressed. At the end of August, the IFT located this wolf in the central portion of the GNF.

f1211 (collared)
During August, this wolf was documented traveling in the north-central portion of the GNF.

MORTALITIES

During August, the IFT located AF1110 from the Hawks Nest Pack dead within the traditional territory for this pack on the ASNF in Arizona. The death is under investigation.

INCIDENTS

During August, IFT personnel investigated four livestock depredation incidents in the BRWRA and determined that two involved Mexican wolves.

On August 3, WS personnel investigated a dead adult cow in the vicinity of Canon del Buey on the GNF. The cause of death could not be determined.

On August 11, WS personnel investigated a dead calf in the vicinity of Mangitas Flat on the GNF. The incident was confirmed as a probable wolf kill. A decision regarding the wolf responsible is pending.

On August 13, WS personnel investigated a dead calf in the vicinity of Spur Lake basin on the GNF. The incident was determined to be a bear depredation.

On August 22, WS personnel investigated an injured calf in the vicinity of Underwood Lake on the GNF. The calf was determined to have been attacked by a wolf, and it was euthanized as a result of its injuries. A decision regarding the wolf responsible for the incident is pending.

CAPTIVE MANAGEMENT

On August 3 and 24, Project personnel captured, evaluated and vaccinated five, 13-week-old pups (mp1215, fp1216, fp1217, fp1218 and fp1219) at the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility. These pups are the offspring of M968 and F1064. All of the pups were healthy.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On August 27, Melissa Kreutzian and Susan Dicks presented Mexican wolf educational information at Wildlife West Nature Park’s Harvest Festival in Edgewood, New Mexico.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

No significant activity occurred during the month of August.

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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