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Monthly Status Report: June 1-30, 2018 - From Arizona Game and Fish Department

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Endangered Species Updates
July 13, 2018


Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update
June 1-30, 2018

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. For information on the FAIR call (928) 338-4385 ext. 226 or visit www.wmatoutdoors.org.

Past updates may be viewed on these websites. Interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically by visiting www.azgfd.com and clicking on the E-news Signup tab on the top left corner of the webpage.

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 (AZGFD), 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 location information please visit http://arcg.is/0iGSGH.
Please report any wolf sightings or suspected livestock depredations to: the Alpine wolf office at (928) 339-4329, Pinetop wolf office at (928) 532-2391 or toll free at (888) 459-9653. For sightings or suspected depredations on the FAIR, please call the FAIR wolf office in Whiteriver at (928) 388-4385 ext. 226. 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
No new updates for the month of June.
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) are used to indicate wolves younger than 24 months.  A lower-case letter "p" preceding the number is used to indicate a wolf pup born in the most recent spring. 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 five years we had a Pup Naming Contest for Kids to name the pups born in the 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 contest2015 contest2016 contest,  and 2017 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. Studbook numbers listed in the monthly update denote wolves with functioning radio collars. 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

The year-end minimum population count for 2017 was 114 wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico.  Annual surveys are conducted in the winter as this is when the population experiences the least amount of natural fluctuation (i.e. in the spring the population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as mortality is particularly high on young pups).  Thus, the IFT summarizes the total number of wolves in the winter at a fairly static or consistent time of year.  This allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year that accounts for most mortality and survival of young pups.  At the end of June, there were 71 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring.


IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared Poco-AM1338, Trico-M1676, and Denali-f1683)
In June, the IFT documented the Bear Wallow Pack in their territory on the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF) and on the SCAR.  Yearling f1683, M1676, and AM1338 were documented traveling separately.

Bluestem Pack (collared Crescita-f1686)
In June, the IFT documented the Bluestem Pack in the pack’s traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.  Yearling f1686 made dispersal movements from the pack’s territory this month.  The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache in a proactive effort intended to reduce potential for wolf-livestock conflict.

Eagle Creek Pack (collared M1477)
In June, M1477 was consistently documented with an uncollared wolf.  The pair has been holding a territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.  No behavior consistent with denning was observed in this pack during June.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, Koa-f1668, and Volver-m1671)
In June, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the northeastern portion of the ASNF.  The IFT maintained a supplemental food cache near the den as part of the cross-foster effort and to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflict.  The Elk Horn Pack continued to display behavior in June consistent with denning.

Hoodoo Pack (collared Copper-AM1290, Verde-AF1333, Severus-m1666, Memphis-m1677, and Suess-m1681)
In June, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the northeastern portion of the ASNF.  The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache to reduce potential for conflict.  The Hoodoo Pack displayed behavior consistent with denning within their traditional territory during June.

Panther Creek Pack (collared Fuerza-AM1382)
In June, the IFT documented AM1382 in the pack’s traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.  AM1382 is believed to be traveling alone.

Pine Spring Pack (collared AM-1394 and Atira-AF1562)
In June, the Pine Spring Pack was located within their territory in the north central portion of the ASNF.  The IFT continued to maintain a diversionary food cache on the ASNF for this pair to reduce potential for wolf-livestock conflict. The Pine Spring Pack displayed behavior consistent with denning within their territory during June.

Prime Canyon Pack (collared Faith-AF1488 and Blaze-AM1471)
In June, the IFT documented the Prime Canyon Pack traveling within a territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.  F1488 and M1471 exhibited behavior and movements consistent with denning.  The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for this pack in a proactive attempt to reduce the potential for human-wildlife interactions near residences.

Saffel Pack (collared Kiko-AM1441, Lupin-AF1567, Domingo-m1661 and Carl-m1680)
In June, the Saffel Pack was located in their territory in the northeastern portion of the ASNF.  The Saffel Pack displayed behavior consistent with denning within their traditional territory during June.

Sierra Blanca Pack (collared Rio Espiritu-M1571 and Moon Beam-F1550)
In June, the Sierra Blanca Pack was located in their territory in the northeastern portion of the ASNF.  The Sierra Blanca Pack has not displayed behavior consistent with denning this month or earlier this year.

Single collared – Isra-F1489
In June, the IFT documented F1489 traveling in the north and east central portion of the ASNF and in the eastern portion of the FAIR.

Single collared – Windy-M1574
In June, the IFT documented M1574 traveling in the east central portion of the ASNF, the SCAR, and the eastern portion of the FAIR.


ON THE FAIR:

Baldy Pack (collared Essential-AM1347, Spirit-F1560, and Ramses-mp1672)
In June, the Baldy Pack was documented traveling in the eastern portion of the FAIR and the north central portion of the ASNF.

Maverick Pack (collared Sandy-AF1291)
In June, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory both on the FAIR and east central portion of the ASNF.

Tsay o Ah Pack (collared AM1343, Ma'iitosoh-AF1283, and Journey-f1674)
In June, the Tsay-O-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory in the eastern portion the FAIR.

Tu dil hil Pack (collared Aleu-M1559 and Luna Sombra-F1679)
In June, the Tu dil hil Pack was documented traveling in the eastern portion of the FAIR


IN NEW MEXICO:

Copper Creek
During June, the Copper Creek Pack was not located.  Currently there are no functioning collars in this pack.

Dark Canyon (collared Artemis-AF1456 and Bravery-M1354)
During June, the Dark Canyon Pack was documented traveling together within their traditional territory, in the west central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).  The Dark Canyon Pack continued to exhibit behavior and movements consistent with denning within their traditional territory during June.

Datil Mountain Pack (collared Bosque-M1453 and Matsi-F1685)
During June, the Datil Mountain Pack continued to travel in the western portion of the Cibola National Forest (CNF).

Frieborn Pack (collared AF1443 and Mago-AM1447)
In June, the Frieborn Pack was documented within their territory in the east central portion of the ASNF in New Mexico and Arizona.  The IFT maintained a food cache near the den as part of the cross-foster effort and to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflict.  The Frieborn Pack continued to exhibit behavior and movements consistent with denning within their traditional territory during June.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038 and Dajanae-F1473)
During June, the Hawks Nest Pack continued to travel in the north central portion of the GNF.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, Acalia-AF1278, Zeus-m1555, Fortitudo-m1556, and Prases-f1670)
During June, 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-AM1285 and AF1405)
During May, the Lava Pack was located within their traditional territory in the southeastern portion of the GNF.  The IFT cross-fostered two pups from the Endangered Wolf Center into the Lava den in May.  One wild born pup was removed to reduce litter size and increase the chance of survival of the genetically valuable pups.  The Lava pup was subsequently cross-fostered into the Dark Canyon pack den.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293 and Cancion-AF1346)
During June, the IFT documented the Leopold Pack within their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158, AF1487, and Shanna-fp1684)
During June, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The Luna Pack continued to display behavior consistent with denning within their traditional territory during June.

Mangas Pack (collared AM1296, Wuna-AF1439, and Majesty-f1664, and Okami- f1705)
During June, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in the northwestern portion of the GNF.  The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for the Mangas Pack to reduce potential for livestock conflict.  The Mangas Pack continued to display behavior consistent with denning within their traditional territory during June.

Prieto Pack (collared AF1251, Adero-AM1398, Peaceful-F1565,   Zauber-m1669, and Aztec-m1678)
During June, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for the Prieto Pack to reduce potential for livestock conflict.  The Prieto Pack continued to display behavior consistent with denning within their traditional territory during June.

San Mateo Pack (collared Survivor-AF1399 and Connie-f1578)
During June, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF.  The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for the San Mateo Pack to reduce potential for livestock conflict.  The San Mateo Pack continued to display behavior consistent with denning during June.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared Krypto-AM1284,  Selene-AF1553, Protector-mp1667, and Starlight-fp1682)
In June, AM1284, mp1667, and fp1682 were listed as fate unknown.  During June, the alpha female, AF1553, of the SBP Pack continued to use the traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF and displayed behavior consistent with denning.  In June, single M1561 was documented traveling with AF1553.

Squirrel Springs Pack (collared F1788)
On June 26, the IFT and Wildlife Services responded to a series of depredation incidents that took place in the central portion of the GNF.  The IFT confirmed an uncollared pair of wolves in the area and initiated trapping efforts to place a radio collar on the wolves to gain further information.  On June 28, the IFT captured and radio collared an adult breeding female, F1788.  The wolf was released on site.  The IFT has continued efforts to determine reproductive status and to reduce potential for further conflict with cattle by maintaining a diversionary food cache and conducting intensive hazing efforts.

Single collared AM1155
The IFT has not located AM1155 for a period of three months; he is now considered fate unknown.

Single collared Da-Kari-M1486
During June, M1486 traveled throughout the northern and central portions of the CNF.

Single collared Akela-M1561
During June, M1561 remained in New Mexico since its translocation back to the MWEPA last month.  The wolf has been documented traveling with AF1553 of the Sheepherder’s Baseball Park Pack.

Single collared Arkanes-M1673
During June, M1673 traveled throughout the southern portion of the GNF, largely within the Dark Canyon Pack territory


MORTALITIES

There were no mortalities documented in June.  From January 1, 2018 to June 30, 2018 there have been a total of 6 documented wolf mortalities.


INCIDENTS
During the month of June, there were 15 confirmed wolf depredation incidents on livestock.  There was one nuisance incident investigated in June.  From January 1, 2018 to June 30, 2018 there have been a total of 50 confirmed wolf depredation incidents in New Mexico and 21 confirmed wolf depredation incidents in Arizona.

On June 3, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On June 5, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On June 7, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM.  The investigation determined the calf was a coyote kill.

One June 8, Wildlife Services investigated an injured calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the calf was injured by a coyote.

On June 11, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow and calf in Catron County, NM.  The investigation determined the cow and calf were both confirmed wolf kills.

On June 11, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Greenlee County, AZ. The investigation determined the cause of death was unknown.

On June 12, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On June 12, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On June 14, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the cause of death was unknown.

On June 14, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the cause of death was unknown.

On June 14, Wildlife Services investigated an injured cow in Apache County, AZ. The investigation determined the cause of the injuries were unknown.

On June 16, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed bear kill.

On June 24, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Greenlee County, AZ. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On June 26, the IFT investigated a reported wolf attack on a domestic dog that occurred at a residence in Vernon, AZ.  Wildlife Services investigated the injuries on the dog that were sustained during the incident.  Both investigations determined the attack on the dog was by coyotes.

On June 26, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Greenlee County, AZ. The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.

On June 26, Wildlife Services investigated six dead calves in Catron County, NM.  The investigation determined four of the dead calves were confirmed wolf kills, and two were probable wolf kills.

On June 27, Wildlife Services investigated an injured calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation confirmed the injuries were caused by wolves.

On June 28, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cow was a confirmed wolf kill.

On June 28, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation determined the cause of death was unknown.

On June 28, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf on the SCAR.  The investigation determined the calf was a confirmed wolf kill.


COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION
On June 7, WMAT presented to Cradleboard Elementary summer school students on Mexican wolf biology, ecology, management, and recovery efforts in Whiteriver, AZ.

On June 14, WMAT presented to Cradleboard Elementary summer school students on Mexican wolf biology, ecology, management, and recovery efforts in Whiteriver, AZ.

On June 19, WMAT presented at Theodore Roosevelt to summer camp students on Mexican wolf biology, ecology, management, and recovery efforts in Fort Apache, AZ.

On June 22, AZGFD personnel provided a wolf education booth and were available for questions at the Nutrioso Firehouse Open House in Nutrioso, AZ.


PROJECT PERSONNEL
In June, WMAT welcomed 6 White Mountain Apache Tribal Youth Mexican Wolf Conservation Interns for the summer.  We’re excited to have you with us!


REWARDS OFFERED

The USFWS is offering a reward of up to $10,000; the AZGFD 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.