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Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project News

Endangered Species Updates - Arizona Game and Fish - June 30, 2012 (Posted 07/12/12)

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Monthly Status Report:  June 1-30, 2012


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/w_c/es/wolf_reintroduction.shtml 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/w_c/es/wolf_reintroduction.shtml.  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 alpha wolves.

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 2012, the collared population consisted of 30 wolves with functional radio collars dispersed among 14 packs and one single wolf.  Two new packs in New Mexico were designated during this month – Elk Horn (F1212 and uncollared wolf) and Canyon Creek (F1246 and M1248).  Some other uncollared wolves are known to be associating with radio-collared wolves, and others are separate from known packs.

Seasonal note: Wolf pups are generally born between mid-April and mid-May. The IFT has documented denning behavior for the following packs:  Bluestem, Hawks Nest, Maverick, Tsay o Ah, Fox Mountain, Elk Horn, San Mateo, Willow Springs, Luna, Dark Canyon and Middle Fork.  The IFT has confirmed the presence of pups in several packs, including Bluestem, Hawks Nest and Fox Mountain.  During the upcoming months, the IFT will be actively monitoring packs to document wild-born pups and estimate their survival.

IN ARIZONA:

Bluestem Pack (collared AF1042 and m1240)
Throughout June, the IFT located these wolves in their traditional territory in the central portion of the ASNF.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AF1208 and m1244)
In June, these wolves continued to use their traditional territory in the north-central portion of the ASNF.  The IFT documented the presence of AM1038 with this pack during June; however, this wolf is not included in this report due to its nonfunctioning radio telemetry collar.

Rim Pack (collared AM1107 and AF858)
Throughout June, the IFT located the Rim Pack utilizing its traditional summer range in the south-central portion of the ASNF.

Paradise Pack (collared AM795, AF1056, m1243 and m1245)
In early June, these wolves were documented using the summer range of their territory on the northern portion of the ASNF and the FAIR.

ON THE FAIR:

Maverick Pack (collared AM1183)
During June, the IFT located this wolf on the FAIR.

Tsay o Ah Pack (collared AM1253 and m1254)
During June, the IFT located these wolves on the FAIR.  IFT personnel conducted trapping efforts on the FAIR and captured and collared a yearling male for this pack, m1254.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM992, AF923 and f1251)
Throughout June, the IFT located the Dark Canyon Pack within its traditional territory in the west-central portion of the GNF.

Fox Mountain Pack (collared M1158 and F1188)
Throughout June, the IFT documented these wolves in the northwest portion of the GNF in New Mexico.

Luna Pack (collared AF1115 and M1155)
In June, the IFT located the Luna Pack within its traditional territory in the north-central portion of the GNF.

Middle Fork Pack (collared AM871 and AF861)
Throughout June, the IFT located AM871 and AF861 within their traditional territory in the central portion of the GNF, including the Gila Wilderness.

San Mateo Pack (collared AM1157, AF903 and m1249)
During June, the IFT located these wolves in the traditional San Mateo Pack territory in the north-central portion of the GNF.

Willow Springs Pack (collared M1185)
Throughout June, the IFT located this wolf in the north-central portion of the GNF.

Canyon Creek (collared M1248 and F1246)
In June, the IFT located these wolves traveling together in the central portion of the GNF.

Elk Horn (collared F1212)
During June, the IFT located this wolf traveling in the northwest and central portion of the GNF.

M1252 (collared)
In June, the IFT located this wolf traveling throughout the northeast portion of the GNF.

MORTALITIES

No known mortalities occurred this month.

INCIDENTS

During June, IFT personnel investigated two livestock depredation incidents in the BRWRA.

On June 5, WS personnel investigated a dead calf northwest of Luna, New Mexico.  They determined the incident to be a black bear depredation.

On June 17, WS personnel investigated a dead yearling heifer north of Greens Peak in Arizona.  The cause of death was determined to be unknown.

CAPTIVE MANAGEMENT

On May 18, captive management personnel captured and moved M1043 and M1177 from the Ladder Ranch Wolf Management Facility to the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility.

On June 19, captive management personnel captured and moved M1049 from the Ladder Ranch Wolf Management Facility to the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility.

On June 20, captive management personnel captured and moved M1177 from the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility to the Endangered Wolf Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On June 2, IFT personnel presented a Project overview to approximately 20 honors science students from Corona del Sol High School in Tempe on a field outing near Big Lake in Arizona.

On June 16, IFT personnel staffed an outreach display regarding wildlife management efforts and wolf-related management issues specifically at the annual Greer Days event in Greer, Arizona.  They contacted approximately 77 individuals during the event.

On June 19, IFT personnel presented a Project overview to 21 individuals attending the annual Arizona meeting for USDA Wildlife Services personnel at Big Lake in Arizona.

On June 21, IFT personnel presented a Project overview and trapping demonstration to 207 high school students from the Phoenix metropolitan area at the annual Future Farmers of America leadership conference in Heber, Arizona.

On June 21, IFT personnel presented a Project overview and discussion of wolf conservation to 35 children and two administrators at the Round Valley Boys and Girls Club in Eagar, Arizona.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

No significant activity occurred this month.

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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