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Monthly Status Report:  July 1-31, 2015 - From the Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team

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Endangered Species Updates
August 12, 2015


Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update
July 1-31, 2015



The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), and New Mexico.    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 contest2013 contest and 2014 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 July 2015 the wild Mexican wolf population consisted of 46 wolves with functional radio collars dispersed among 20 packs and three single wolves.  Members of the IFT have begun obtaining pup counts this month and have so far counted 31 pups produced by 8 packs in the MWEPA.
IN ARIZONA:

Bluestem Pack (collared AF1042, Niku-m1331, Verde-f1333, Fuerza-mp1382, m1404, and f1405)
In July, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the central portion of the ASNF.  Bluestem wolves Verde-f1333, Fuerza-m1382, m1404 and f1405 have been located in the vicinity of the den during the month.  Wolf Niku-m1331 has been located separate from the Bluestem Pack throughout July.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294 and M1342)
In July, the Elk Horn Pack continued to make broad movements within their traditional territory in the northeast portion of the ASNF. Visuals on the pack have not revealed the presence of pups.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038, Clover-AF1280 and Apache-m1383)
In July, the Hawks Nest Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. The Hawks Nest Pack continued to demonstrate denning behavior in July and three pups were sighted with the pack near their rendezvous site.

Hoodoo Pack (collared Copper-M1290)
In July, Copper-M1290 remained localized in the north-central portion of the ASNF. Based on this localization and howling documented from a pup, the IFT is attempting to determine whether Copper-M1290 is tending to a den and pups.

Marble Pack (Zia-F1340)
The IFT continued to document a male wolf with a non-functional radio collar traveling with Zia-F1340 in the northwest-central portion of the ASNF. Zia-F1340 continued to display denning behavior during July. The IFT has begun trapping efforts on the Marble Pack in an attempt to replace the non-functional radio collar on the wolf traveling with Zia-F1340.

Maverick Pack (collared AM1183 and Sandy-AF1291)
During July, the Maverick Pack traveled within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and ASNF.  The IFT has not documented denning behavior from the Maverick Pack this year.

Panther Creek Pack (Esperanza-F1339 and M1394)
The IFT has documented denning behavior from the Panther Creek Pack.  This pack consists of two adult wolves and has been located in the east-central portion of the ASNF throughout July.
Rim Pack (Zurina Loba-AF1305)
In July, Zurina Loba-AF1305 has remained in the traditional Rim Pack territory in the central portion of the ASNF.

Single M1161 (Collared)
In July, M1161 was located traveling in the east-central portion of the ASNF.

Bear Wallow Pack (Poco-m1338 and Bailey-f1335)
In July the Bear Wallow pack consisting of Poco-m1338 and Bailey-f1335 became an official pack after having been located together for three consecutive months.  The pack has been utilizing the east-central portion of the ASNF.  This newly formed pack has not demonstrated denning behavior in 2015.


ON THE FAIR:

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


IN NEW MEXICO:

Coronado Pack (collared Wesley-AM1051)
In July, the IFT located AM1051 in the Gila Wilderness.

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992, AF923, M1293 and Bravery-mp1354 and Essential-mp1347)
In July, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west-central portion of the GNF. The IFT continues to document denning behavior in this pack during the month.

Fox Mountain Pack (collared Guardian-mp1396)
In July, the IFT documented the Fox Mountain Pack within their traditional territory in the northwest portion of the GNF.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240 and Acalia-AF1278)
In July, 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.  The IFT continues to document denning behavior in this pack during the month.

Lava Pack (collared Gunnolf-M1285 and Lupita-F1295)
In July, the Lava Pack was located in its traditional territory in the northwest portion of the Gila Wilderness. The IFT has documented pups produced by the Lava pack this month but has not obtained an accurate count.  Two diversionary food caches have been maintained to potentially prevent livestock depredations by the Lava Pack.

Luna Pack (collared AM1155, AF1115, and Adero-mp1398)
In July, AM1155 remained in the Luna Pack territory in the north-central portion of the GNF.  The IFT documented pup presence with the Luna pack this month, despite the fact that no denning behavior was documented or observed.  AM1155 and Adero-m1398 have been documented traveling together and separate at different times during the month of July.  The IFT suspects that the collar on AF1115 has failed.

Mangas Pack (collared AM1296)
M1296 was not located during July.

Prieto Pack (collared AM1387, AF1251, Monty-mp1386 and Tempesta-fp1392)
In July, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF.  The IFT continues to document denning behavior in this pack during the month.

San Mateo Pack (AF903 and M1345)
During July, the San Mateo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-east portion of the GNF.  The IFT documented one pup traveling with the San Mateo Pack in late-July.

Willow Springs Pack (collared AM1185, Tiara-fp1390, and Vida-fp1397)
Throughout July, the IFT located the Willow Springs Pack in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Krypto-M1284 (collared)
Krypto-M1284 was located once in July northwest of Lookout Mountain.

Dakotah-mp1350 (collared)
Throughout July, Dakotah-m1350 traveled within the GNF in New Mexico and was located in the Willow Springs and Luna pack territories periodically.


MORTALITIES
No mortalities were documented during July.

INCIDENTS
During July, there were 2 livestock depredation reports involving wolves and 2 nuisance reports.

On July 2, the IFT received a report of a wolf chasing livestock in New Mexico.  The incident was recorded as a nuisance report.

On July 10, Wildlife Services investigated three dead calves near Crescent Lake in Arizona.  The calves died of unknown causes.

On July 23, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf on private property in New Mexico.  The investigation determined the calf was killed by a bear.

On July 27 the IFT received a report of 2 wolves harassing 2 domestic dogs and a single person on a horse in Mimbres, New Mexico.  The IFT investigated the report and found sign of wolves at the incident location.  The IFT remained in the area and searched for additional wolf sign, but did not find anything suggesting recent wolf activity.  The IFT set up three trail cameras and will continue to try and document wolf activity in the area.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION
On July 30, the IFT gave a presentation on the revised experimental population to the Arizona Game and Fish Departments CAT-1 wildlife attack response team.

PROJECT PERSONNEL
No significant activity to report.

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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