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

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Endangered Species Updates
November 15, 2015


Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update
October 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 semi-monthly wolf telemetry flight location information please visit www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/RWL.cfm
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 October 2015 the wild Mexican wolf population consisted of 45 wolves with functional radio collars dispersed among 21 packs and two single wolves.  Members of the IFT continue pup counts this month and have so far counted 43 pups produced by 11 packs in the MWEPA.

IN ARIZONA:

Bluestem Pack (collared AF1042, Niku-m1331, Verde-f1333, Fuerza-m1382, m1404, f1405, and f1443)
In October, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).  Bluestem wolves’ Verde-f1333, Fuerza-m1382, and m1404 have been located in their traditional territory during the month, while Niku-m1331 has been located separate from the pack in New Mexico.  Wolf f1443 was captured and collared this month.  Wolf f1405 has been located separate from the pack in eastern Arizona.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294 and M1342)
In October, the Elk Horn Pack continued to make broad movements within their traditional territory in the northeast portion of the ASNF. The IFT has not documented the presence of presence of pups with the Elk Horn Pack.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038, Clover-AF1280, Apache-m1383, and Wuna-f1439)
In October, the Hawks Nest Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF. Wuna-f1439 has begun exhibiting dispersal behavior and is localizing near the western border of New Mexico.

Hoodoo Pack (collared Copper-M1290 and mp1441)
In October, the Hoodoo Pack remained localized in the north-central portion of the ASNF. The IFT has documented Copper-AM1290 and mp1441 traveling with a wolf believed to be AF1395, whose radio collar is non-functional.

Marble Pack (Zia-F1340, mp1440 and fp1442)
In October, the Marble Pack was located in their traditional territory in the northwest-central portion of the ASNF. The IFT continued to document the Marble Pack utilizing a rendezvous site in October.

Maverick Pack (collared AM1183 and Sandy-AF1291)
During October, the Maverick Pack traveled within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and ASNF.

Panther Creek Pack (Esperanza-F1339 and M1394)
During October the Panther Creek Pack has been located in the east-central portion of the ASNF. A diversionary food cache has been set up to reduce potential conflicts with livestock.  During October the IFT captured and re-collared AM1394.

Rim Pack (Zurina Loba-AF1305)
Throughout October, Zurina Loba-AF1305 has been traveling a wide area throughout the central portion of the ASNF.

Bear Wallow Pack (Poco-m1338 and Bailey-f1335)
This pack continues to utilize the east-central portion of the ASNF.

Single M1161 (Collared)
M1161 has not been located during the month of October.  The IFT believes the collar has failed.

ON THE FAIR:

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

Diamond Pack (collared 1437)
During September, the Diamond Pack was located on the FAIR.


IN NEW MEXICO:

Coronado Pack (collared Wesley-AM1051)
During October, AM1051 of the Coronado Pack was not located.

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992, AF923, M1293 and Bravery-m1354 and Essential-m1347)
During October, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west-central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).  Trapping efforts this month resulted in the capture of a female pup (fp1444), as well as the re-capture and re-collaring of the breeding female (AF923), both were fitted with GPS radio collars.

Fox Mountain Pack (collared Guardian-m1396)
In October, 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 October, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF.

Lava Pack (collared Gunnolf-M1285 and Lupita-F1295)
In October, the Lava Pack was located in its traditional territory between the Gila Wilderness and the Elk Mountains.  The IFT was successful in deploying GPS radio collars in the Lava pack in October and will continue to monitor this pack closely.  Two diversionary food caches have continually been maintained to reduce potential conflicts with livestock.

Luna Pack (collared AM1155, AF1115, and Adero-m1398)
In October, the Luna pack remained in their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF.  Luna wolves AM1155 and Adero-m1398 have been documented traveling at different times together during the month. The IFT was successful at deploying an additional GPS radio collar.

Prieto Pack (collared AM1387, AF1251, Monty-m1386 and Tempesta-f1392)
During October, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF.  The IFT successfully re-captured a female sub-adult (Tempesta-f1392) and fitted her with a GPS collar this month.

San Mateo Pack (AF903 and M1345)
During October, the San Mateo pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portions of the GNF.

Willow Springs Pack (collared AM1185 and Vida-f1397)
In October, the IFT located the Willow Springs Pack in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  During the month, Fox Mountain Guardian-m1396 was documented with Vida-f1397 in the Willow Springs territory.

Krypto-M1284 (collared)
During October, Krypto-M1284 was located by the IFT within the GNF in New Mexico.

Dakotah-mp1350 (collared)
Dakotah-m1350 was not located during October, and is considered fate unknown by the IFT.
Mangas Pack (collared AM1296)
During October, M1296 made large movements in and outside the north eastern portion of the GNF in New Mexico.


MORTALITIES

No wolf mortalities were documented during the month of October.

INCIDENTS
During October, there were 2 livestock depredation reports involving wolves and no nuisance reports.

On October 10, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow on the FAIR.  The investigation determined the cow was killed by wolves.

On October 13, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow near Centerfire Creek in New Mexico.  The investigation determined the cow was killed by wolves.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION
On October 9, a member of the IFT gave a presentation on Mexican Wolves to 35 students from the University of Arizona in Tucson.

On October 17, a member of the IFT gave a presentation about the Project to 50 people at the South West Conservation Center in Scottsdale Arizona.

On October 20, a member of the IFT gave a Project briefing at the NRCS meeting in Springerville, Arizona.

On October 28, members of the IFT gave a Project update to county board members at the 4-FRI meeting in Show Low Arizona.

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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