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Monthly Status Report: June 1-30, 2014 - From the Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team (posted 7/27/14)

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Endangered Species Update
June 2014

Mexican Wolf Blue Range Reintroduction Project Monthly Update
June 1-30, 2014

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), 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).

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 breeding wolves.
Our note:  You will notice that some of the wolves also have names associated with their identification numbers.  For the last two years we had a Pup Naming Contest for Kids to name the pups born in Spring.  The names that you see are the winning names that we have assigned to the pups.  Follow these links for all the entries and results from the 2012 contest and 2013. contest.

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 June 2014, the collared population consisted of 49 wolves with functional radio collars.  M1282 and F1295 were translocated to McKenna Park in the Gila Wilderness on June 18.  They will now be referred to as the Lava Pack. There are currently 18 packs and 4 single wolves in the BRWRA.

IN ARIZONA:

Bluestem Pack (collared AF1042, AM1341, Shadow-mp1330, Niku-mp1331, Unique-fp1332, Verde-fp1333, Esperanza-fp1339, and Zia-fp1340)
During June, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the central portion of the ASNF.  The Bluestem Pack continues to exhibit denning behavior during the month of June.  On June 18 Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf near Kettle Holes in Arizona.  The investigation determined that the calf was killed by a wolf.  The depredation was assigned to Unique-f1332.  The wolf Unique-f1332 has been located separate from the rest of the Bluestem Pack during the month of June.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AM1287 and F1294)
In June, the Elk Horn Pack exhibited denning behavior within their traditional territory in the northeast portion of the ASNF in Arizona. The IFT documented AM1287 with F1294 with the use of a trail camera this month.  The collar on AM1287 is not functional.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038 and Clover-f1280)
During June, the Hawks Nest Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF.  The Hawks Nest Pack continues to exhibit denning behavior.  The collar on AM1038 has stopped working, but the IFT has documented AM1038 is still with Clover-f1280 with the use of a trail camera.

Hoodoo Pack (collared Copper-M1290)
In June, Copper-M1290 traveled between the northern portion of the FAIR and the north portion of the ASNF.  The IFT again documented an uncollared wolf with Copper-M1290 during this month.
Maverick Pack (collared AM1183, Sandy-AF1291, Bailey-f1335, Geronimo-mp1336 and m1342)
During June, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and the central portion of the ASNF.  The Maverick Pack continues to display denning behavior.

Rim Pack (collared AM1107 and Zurina Loba-F1305)
In June, the Rim Pack was located in the south-central portion of the ASNF. The pack is still exhibiting denning behavior.

ON THE FAIR:

Tsay o Ah Pack (M1343 and Ma'iitosoh-f1283)
Throughout June, the Tsay o Ah Pack was located on the FAIR.  The IFT continues to document denning behavior in this Pack.

M1249 (collared)
The wolf M1249 was located on the FAIR throughout the month of June

IN NEW MEXICO:

Canyon Creek Pack (collared M1252 and F1246)
During June, the IFT located these wolves within their traditional territory in the central portion of the GNF. The IFT has documented denning behavior in this pack during this month.

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992, AF923 and M1293)
Throughout June, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west-central portion of the GNF.  The Dark Canyon Pack continued to display denning behavior during the month of June.  In May 2 pups from the Coronado Pack were cross-fostered into the Dark Canyon Pack.  A food cache was established to help the Dark Canyon Pack care for the extra puppies.  The IFT documented the three collared members of the Dark Canyon Pack utilizing the food cache during the month of June.  Although the Dark Canyon Pack continues to display denning behavior the IFT has yet to document the presence of pups since the cross-fostering was implemented.

Fox Mountain Pack (collared AM1158, AF1212, M1276 and m1345)
During June, the IFT documented these wolves within the northwest portion of the GNF.  M1276 has not been located during the month of June and is now considered fate unknown.  The Fox Mountain Pack continues to display denning behavior.  A food cache was established by the IFT to deter the pack from depredating on livestock and no depredations have resulted since the food cache has been established.  On June 23, 4 pups from the Fox Mountain Pack were documented on a trail camera visiting the food cache.

Luna Pack (collared AM1155, AF1115, and Sprocket-m1337)
In June, the IFT located the alpha pair within their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF.  The Luna Pack continues to display denning behavior.  On June 2, during the weekly telemetry flight IFT personnel observed m1337 chasing livestock however a search of the area later revealed no dead livestock.

Prieto Pack (collared F1251)
In June, the IFT located this wolf within its traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF.  The IFT documented denning behavior in this pack during this month.  A food cache has been established to prevent livestock depredations by the Prieto Pack.  Both adult wolves associated with the Prieto pack have been documented using this food cache in June.

Mangas Pack (M1296 and Luna-f1327)
In June, the Mangas Pack utilized the area in the Northeastern Portion of the GNF.  The IFT has documented denning behavior in this pack during June.  During June Luna-f1327 was located dead in New Mexico.  The incident is under investigation.  A supplemental food cache was started to help M1296 feed any pups associated with the Mangas Pack.

San Mateo Pack (collared AM1157 and AF903)
In June, the IFT located AM1157 and AF903 in the pack’s traditional territory in the northern portion of the GNF. Although denning behavior has been documented, the IFT has yet to observe pups with the pack.

Willow Springs Pack (collared AM1185, AF1279, and Poco-mp1338)
In June, the Willow Springs Pack used their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  On June 14 the IFT documented three collared wolves and two uncollared wolves using the Willow Springs food cache.  The Willow Springs Pack continues to display denning behavior.

Iron Creek Pack (collared M1240 and Acalia-F1278)
In June, the Iron Creek Pack continued to display denning behavior.  This pack has localized in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the Gila National Forest.  The pack has been documented using this area of the GNF as their territory.

M1254 (collared)
In June, the IFT located M1254 for the first time in over a year.  The wolf was located in the in the north western part of the GNF.  The Wolf has traveled between the north western portion of the GNF and the western portion of the GNF since he was rediscovered.

Krypto-M1284 (collared)
In June, M1284 made wide dispersal movements in the GNF of New Mexico.

Gunnolf-M1285 (collared)
In June, M1285 made wide dispersal movements in the GNF of New Mexico and the Gila Wilderness area.

Faloan-M1286 (collared)
In June, M1286 continued to make wide dispersal movements in the GNF.

MORTALITIES

In June, F1327 was found dead in New Mexico.  The incident is under investigation.


INCIDENTS

During June there were three livestock depredation reports and one nuisance report in the BRWRA.

On June 2, members of the IFT observed Sprocket-M1337 of the Luna Pack chasing livestock in New Mexico.  There were no dead livestock found in the area.

On June 4, Wildlife Services investigated one dead cow and one dead calf near Canyon Del Buey, New Mexico.  The cow calf pair died of unknown cause not related to wolves.

On June 21, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf near Kettle Holes in Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was killed by a wolf and the depredation was assigned to Unique-f1332 of the Bluestem Pack.

On June 24, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf near White Mountain Reservoir in Arizona.  The calf was determined to have been killed by coyotes.


CAPTIVE MANAGEMENT

On June 15, Coronado pups, fp1348, mp1349, mp1350, and mp1351 were captured at the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility and received veterinary health checks.  The pups were determined to be healthy and thriving.

On June 16, F1226, F1222, and M1274 were captured at the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility and received veterinary health checks.

On June 18, Lava M1282 and F1295 were captured at the Ladder Ranch Wolf Management Facility and transported to Gila Flats NM for translocation to the wild.  Wolf program staff also captured and transported F858 from the Ladder Ranch Wolf Management Facility to the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center.

On June 30, Coronado pups, fp1348, mp1349, mp1350, and mp1351 were captured at the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility and received veterinary health checks.  The pups were determined to be healthy and thriving.  F1202 was captured and moved to a different pen at the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility.


COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On June 21, the IFT gave a presentation at the Phoenix Zoo to 36 teachers from across Arizona.  The presentation was part of a program that showed the different perspectives of managing endangered species in Arizona.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In June, Brent Wolf and Ed Davis started working with the AGFD on the Mexican Wolf Project.  Welcome to the project Brent and Ed!


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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Photo credits:  Rebecca Bose, Wolf Conservation Center