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Monthly Status Report: September 1-30, 2014 - From the Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team

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Endangered Species Updates
**Corrected Version**
October 10, 2014


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


The Arizona Game and Fish Department is issuing a corrected version of the Sept. 2014 Mexican wolf report as the report that was issued on Oct. 9, 2014 was from Sept. 2013. The department apologizes for any inconvenience this error may have caused.


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 September, the collared population consisted of 57 wolves with functional radio collars.  There are currently 18 packs and 5 single wolves in the BRWRA.  As of this report the IFT has documented 40 pups produced in the wild population.

IN ARIZONA:

Bluestem Pack (collared AF1042, AM1341, Shadow-m1330, Niku-m1331, Verde-f1333, Esperanza-f1339, and Zia-f1340 and mp1382)
Pups associated with pack this year: 3
In September, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the central portion of the ASNF.  The IFT has observed the pack several times during the month of September and have documented eleven wolves in the Bluestem Pack.  Wolf f1332 (Unique) has been located separate from the Bluestem Pack for three consecutive months and will now be considered a single wolf.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294)
Pups associated with pack this year: 3
In September, the IFT located AM1287 dead.  The incident is under investigation.  The IFT documented the production of 3 pups with the Elk Horn Pack.  Following the loss of AM1287, the IFT established a supplemental food cache to assist AF1294 with rearing pups.  AF1294 continues to be located within its traditional territory in the northeast portion of the ASNF in Arizona.


Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038, Clover-AF1280 and mp1383)
Pups associated with pack this year: 3
During September, the Hawks Nest Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF.  The IFT documented 3 pups with the Hawks Nest Pack during September.  On September 1, mp1383 slipped its radio collar.  The pup was recaptured and recollared on September 16.  On September 26, AM1038 was caught and its collar was replaced.

Hoodoo Pack (collared Copper-M1290)
In September, Copper-M1290 traveled between the northern portion of the FAIR and the north portion of the ASNF.

Rim Pack (collared AM1107 and Zurina Loba-AF1305)
Pups associated with pack this year: 1
In September, the Rim Pack was located in the south-central portion of the ASNF.


ON THE FAIR:

Maverick Pack (collared AM1183, Sandy-AF1291, Bailey-f1335, Geronimo-m1336 and m1342)
Pups associated with pack this year: 4
During September, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and ASNF.

Tsay o Ah Pack (collared AM1343 and Ma'iitosoh-AF1283)
During September, the Tsay o Ah Pack was located on the FAIR.

M1249 (collared)
M1249 was located on the FAIR throughout the month of September.


IN NEW MEXICO:

Canyon Creek Pack (collared AM1252 and AF1246)
During September, the IFT located these wolves within their traditional territory in the central portion of the GNF.

Coronado Pack (collared Wesley-AM1051 and Ernesta-AF1126)
Pups associated with pack this year: 4
Throughout September, the Coronado Pack was located within the Gila Wilderness.

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992, AF923, M1293, and mp1354)
Pups associated with pack this year: 5
Throughout September, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west-central portion of the GNF. On September 2, mp1354 slipped its radio collar; efforts to recollar this pup have been unsuccessful.

Fox Mountain Pack (collared AM1158, AF1212, m1345 and mp1384)
Pups associated with pack this year: 4
During September, the IFT documented the Fox Mountain Pack within its traditional territory in the northwest portion of the GNF.  On September 2, the IFT captured and collared a wolf pup associated with the Fox Mountain Pack.  The wolf was collared, designated mp1384 and released on sight.

Lava Pack (collared Hunt-M1282 and Lupita-F1295)
During September, the Lava Pack has remained separate from each other.  Throughout September, Hunt-M1282 has been located with its natal pack, the San Mateo Pack. Lupita-F1295 has been located with, or in close proximity to, single Gunnolf-M1285 in the Gila Wilderness throughout September.

Luna Pack (collared AM1155, AF1115, Sprocket-m1337, and M1284)
Pups associated with pack this year: 3
In September, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF.  The IFT has initiated efforts to attempt to capture and collar uncollared wolves with the Luna Pack.

Prieto Pack (collared AM1387, AF1251 and mp1386)
Pups associated with pack this year: 3
Throughout September, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF. On September 22, the IFT captured a male wolf; it was collared, designated mp1386 and released on site.  On September 25, the IFT captured and adult male wolf; it was collared, designated AM1387 and released on site.

Mangas Pack (collared AM1296)
In September, the Mangas Pack utilized the area in the Northeastern Portion of the GNF.

San Mateo Pack (collared AM1157, AF903 and Hunt-M1282)
Pups associated with pack this year: 1
In September, the IFT located AM1157, AF903 and Hunt-M1282 from the Lava Pack in the San Mateo’s Pack traditional territory in the northern portion of the GNF.  Wolf Hunt-M1282 from the Lava Pack has returned to the San Mateo Pack and has been associated with the San Mateo Pack throughout September.

Willow Springs Pack (collared AM1185, AF1279, Poco-m1338, mp-1385)
Pups associated with pack this year: 5
In September, the Willow Springs Pack used their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  On September 5, the IFT trapped and collared a male pup; it was collared, designated mp1385 and released on site.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240 and Acalia-AF1278)
Pups associated with pack this year: 1
In September, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the Gila National Forest.

M1254 (collared)
In September, the IFT located M1254 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 throughout September.

Krypto-M1284 (collared)
Throughout September, Krypto-M1284 was located with its natal pack, the Luna Pack.

Gunnolf-M1285 (collared)
In September, Gunnolf-M1285 was located with or in close proximity to F1295 within the Gila Wilderness.

Falon-M1286 (collared)
Falon-M1286 was not located for three consecutive months; the IFT now considers Falon-M1286 fate unknown.

Unique-f1332 (Collared)
Unique-f1332 is now considered a single wolf.  Originally from the Bluestem Pack, it has been located separate from the Bluestem Pack for three consecutive months.  Wolf Unique-f1332 has remained in Arizona and has traveled the south central portion of the ASNF.  The IFT has documented this wolf traveling alone.

MORTALITIES

In September, AM1287 from the Elk Horn Pack was located dead in Arizona.  The incident is under investigation.


INCIDENTS

During September there were five livestock depredation reports and no nuisance reports in the BRWRA.

On September 1, Wildlife Services investigated one dead cow in New Mexico near the Mangitas Mountains.  The investigation determined the cow was killed by wolves.  The depredation was assigned to uncollared wolves.

On September 7, Wildlife Services investigated two dead calves near Mexican Hay Lake in Arizona.  The investigation determined the calves had been killed by wolves.  The depredation was assigned to uncollared wolves.

On September 10, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow near Crosby Crossing in Arizona.  The investigation determined the cow died from a broken back.

On September 26, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Arizona west of the town of Greer.  The investigation determined the calf was killed by wolves.  The depredation was assigned to uncollared wolves.


CAPTIVE MANAGEMENT

No significant activity to report


COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On September 26, 27, and 28 a journalist from Arizona Highways Magazine, toured the BRWRA with members from the IFT.


PROJECT PERSONNEL

In September, Aron Smethurst concluded his internship with the USFWS.  Thanks for all your hard work Aron!

In September, Becca Lyon concluded her internship with the USFWS.  Thanks for all your hard work Becca!

In September, Alex Hanrahan concluded his internship with the USFWS.  Thanks for all your hard work Alex!

In September, Carrie Kyle decided to extend her internship with the USFWS.  Thanks for your continued dedication to the program Carrie!

In September, Gael Sanchez began her internship with the USFWS.  Welcome to the program Gael.

In September, Dan Tomasetti began his internship with the USFWS.  Welcome to the program Dan.

In September, Allison Greenleaf ended her career with AZGFD and started working with the USFWS contingent of the Mexican Wolf Project.  Congratulations Allison!


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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