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Monthly Status Report: August 1-31, 2016 - From the Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team

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Endangered Species Updates
September 16, 2016


Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update
August 1-31, 2016


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), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), 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
www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at 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.

This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose.  The 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.


Overall Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update


The USFWS presented information on the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program to a closed session of the White Mountain Apache Tribal Council on July 28, 2016.
The USFWS attended the annual Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan meeting held August 1-4 at Chico Hot Springs in Pray, MT.  The meeting was also combined, for the first time, with the Red Wolf Program's Species Survival Plan meeting.

The USFWS held the 4th Mexican wolf recovery planning workshop in Albuquerque, NM August 22 and 23, 2016.  The workshop was attended by staff from the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah, the Mexican government agencies CONANP (National Commission of Natural Protected Areas) and SEMARNAT (Secretariat of Environmental and Natural Resources) and independent scientists from both countries.  The workshop focused on review of a habitat model across the border region and input parameters for the Vortex model, which will be used to evaluate extinction risk of various recovery scenarios.

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 four 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 contest2014 contest, and 2015 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

Population monitoring requires year round effort documenting births, deaths, survival, total numbers, and distribution all culminating in the end of the year population counts.  Currently, there are 19 packs and 4 single wolves, which include 47 wolves with functioning radio collars that are used by the IFT to collect this data.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared Poco-M1338, Bailey-F1335 and fp1548)
In August, the Bear Wallow Pack was located within their traditional territory in the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF).  A female pup, fp1548, in the Bear Wallow Pack was captured, collared and released in the month of August.  This confirmed that Bear Wallow did produce pups, with a minimum count of one.

Bluestem Pack (collared Fuerza-M1382, F1443, Faith-f1488 and Isra-f1489)
In August, the Bluestem Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.  Wolves F1443, f1488 and M1382 were consistently located together near the Bluestem den.

Buckalou Pack (collared F1405)
In August, F1405 continued to travel between Arizona and New Mexico in both the Gila and Apache National Forests.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, M1342 and mp1474)
In August, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north eastern portion of the ASNF.  The IFT documented rendezvous behavior by this pack during the month of August. The Elk Horn Pack has periodically used a food cache set up by the IFT to supplement the pack due to the two pups cross-fostered into the pack’s litter in April.  A male pup, mp1474, with the Elk Horn Pack was captured, collared and released in the month of August.  This pup was not one of the two pups cross-fostered into the Elk Horn Pack in April.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038, Apache-M1383, and Bosque-m1453)
In August, the Hawks Nest Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the ASNF.

Hoodoo Pack (collared Copper-AM1290, Verde-AF1333, Kiko-m1441, fp1549 and fp1550)
In August, the Hoodoo Pack remained in the north central portion of the ASNF.  The IFT documented rendezvous behavior by the Hoodoo Pack this month.  The Hoodoo Pack has continued to utilize the food cache put in place for them to prevent potential depredation issues in the area.  Two female pups, fp1549 and fp1550, with the Hoodoo Pack were caught, collared and released.

Marble Pack (collared Shadow-AM1330)
AM1330 was not heard or located during the month of August. The Marble Pack consists of one collared wolf

Maverick Pack (collared AM1183 and Sandy-AF1291)
In August, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and ASNF.  Pup tracks were documented in Maverick territory during the month of August.

Panther Creek Pack (Esperanza-F1339 and M1394)
In August, the Panther Creek Pack was been located in the east central portion of the ASNF.  The Panther Creek Pack continued to show denning behavior and utilize the food cache that the IFT has maintained for them to supplement the pack due to the two pups cross-fostered into the Panther Creek Pack in April.

Single Adero-M1398
During August, M1398 was not located.


ON THE FAIR:

Diamond Pack (collared M1249, Mago-m1447, and Suki-m1454)
In August, the Diamond Pack was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR, the northwest portion of the ASNF, and non-public land in Arizona.  m1454 was found dead in Arizona, on non-Tribal land; the incident is under investigation.  Pups were documented traveling with the pack.

Tsay o Ah Pack (collared AM1343, Ma'iitosoh-AF1283, and Libre-f1445)
In August, Tsay-o-Ah was located in the eastern portion of the FAIR.  f1445 traveled into ASNF occasionally.  f1445 was documented traveling with M1347.

Single Essential-M1347
During August, M1347 was located on the eastern portion of the FAIR and the east central portion of the ASNF.  M1347 was documented traveling with f1445.


IN NEW MEXICO:

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992 and Stella-f1444)
During August, the IFT located this pack within its traditional territory in the west central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).  AM992 was documented back in its traditional territory.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240 and Acalia-AF1278)
During August, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF. A diversionary food cache is being maintained for the Iron Creek Pack to mitigate potential wolf-livestock conflicts.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158 and F1487)
During August, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT is maintaining a diversionary and supplemental food cache in efforts to reduce potential for further livestock depredations.

Mangas Pack (collared AM1296 and Wuna-F1439)
During August, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in north western portions of the GNF in New Mexico.

Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, AM1387, Monty-M1386, Tsuki-m1455, and f1456)
During August, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

San Mateo Pack (collared AM1345 and Survivor-AF1399)
During August, the IFT documented AM1345 and AF1399 traveling together within their territory in the north central portion of the GNF and has continued to show denning behavior.  A diversionary food cache is being maintained for the San Mateo Pack to reduce potential wolf-livestock conflicts.

SBP Pack (collared Krypto-AM1284 and Tempesta-AF1392)
In August the SBP Pack continued to use their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  AM1284 was not located during August.

Willow Springs Pack (collared Vida-F1397)
In August, the IFT documented the Willow Springs Pack within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Single M1293
During August, M1293 was located within the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico.

Single AM1155
During August, AM1155 was documented traveling within New Mexico.


MORTALITIES

In August, m1454 of the Diamond Pack was located dead in Arizona.  The incident is under investigation.


INCIDENTS

During August there were seven livestock depredation reports and no nuisance reports.  Five of the seven depredation reports were confirmed wolf kills.

On August 2, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On August 9, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, New Mexico.  The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On August 12, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On August 23, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On August 25, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the cow had died from unknown cause.

On August 25, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County Arizona.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On August 31, Wildlife Services investigated a dead yearling cow in Apache County, Arizona.  The investigation determined the yearling cow had died from unknown causes.


COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On August 4, AGFD gave a presentation on the Mexican wolf reintroduction at the 2016 Southwest Wings Festival in Sierra Vista.

On August 10 and 11, WMAT presented at the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society – Southwest Region Conference on the Navajo Reservation.

On August 11, the USFWS gave a presentation on the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program to the University of New Mexico's continuing education program.

On August 16, WMAT presented at a community meeting in Cibecue, AZ.

On August 30, the USFWS gave a presentation on the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program to the Rio Rancho Rotary.


PROJECT PERSONNEL

In August, WMAT Mexican Wolf Tribal Youth Conservation Interns:  Hanna Kindelay, Tiexieria Clitso, Rosel Ethelbah, Marissa Gregg, and Hyram Lee concluded their internship.  Thanks for all of your dedication and work!

In August, Steven Nagy began as a volunteer/intern with the USFWS.  Welcome to the program Steven!


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.