Monthly Wolf Report - June 2018

Publish date

This report provides information about wolf conservation and management activities undertaken by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) from June 1-30, 2018.

Statewide wolf capture, survey, and management

Wolf surveys

Wolf biologists spent time trapping in the Togo pack area and successfully captured and collared an adult male wolf from that pack. New wolf activity was also reported in the old Profanity Peak territory, so wolf biologists scouted, set traps, and succeeded in collaring an adult male wolf. Trapping efforts then shifted to the Lookout Mountain, Huckleberry, and Grouse Flats pack territories, but no wolves were trapped. Wolf biologists also spent time scouting the Beaver Creek, Five Sisters, and Leadpoint pack territories for future trapping efforts over the next few weeks.

Wolf biologists also followed up on reports south of I-90 in the central portion of the state, but were unable to find any wolf tracks or sign in the area. The department encourages the public to report sightings. These reports can be very helpful in locating new packs on the landscape.

Outreach activities

Wolf biologists gave a presentation at the Game Management Advisory Council in early June, providing an update on the status of wolves in Washington and answering questions asked by the group.

Biologists also reviewed and provided comments on web pages currently being developed for a new Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website, currently under construction.

Proactive deterrence measures

Grazing

Through mid-June, livestock producers had moved more than a thousand cow/calf pairs onto state and federal grazing allotments. Cattle are also grazing on private pastures across District 3 in the southeast corner of the state. These allotments and private pastures fall within the territories of the three known wolf packs in that management district.

Wildlife conflict specialists started working with the state and federal range managers prior to the grazing season to share information and determine steps that could be taken to minimize wolf/livestock conflict. That coordination has included adjusting grazing allotment schedules to avoid cattle grazing close to possible wolf denning sites. Wildlife conflict staff members have also been working closely with producers to implement other measures to avoid conflicts, including range riding, human presence, and the relocation of salt sites across the area.

Most of the cattle herds are under daily monitoring at this time. Wildlife conflict staff members will continue to work closely with producers and range managers and monitor cattle and wolf movements thorough the grazing season. At this time, no wolf/livestock conflict has been reported.

Northeastern Washington coordination

District Wildlife conflict staff members continued to meet and coordinate with livestock producers, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), university researchers, and other nonprofit organizations in northeastern Washington. This coordination will continue throughout the summer grazing season. Information on changes to the data sharing program, Damage Prevention Cooperative Agreements for Livestock, WDFW contracted range rider deployment and request for qualifications, and wolf high use areas was shared.

Deterrents

A variety of nonlethal deterrents were deployed, including:

  • Carpenter Ridge – range riding and department presence

  • Dirty Shirt – range riding and human presence

  • Goodman – WDFW presence

  • Huckleberry – range riding and fox lights

  • Leadpoint – human presence and fox lights

  • Old Profanity territory – range riding and fox lights

  • Smackout – fox lights, fladry, air horns, pyrotechnics, range riding, and a RAG box

  • Stranger – range riding, continual improvements on calving locations, and fox lights

  • Togo – range riding and securing calving locations

Range riding activity in most packs was provided by Damage Prevention Cooperative Agreements for Livestock, agency contracted range riders, and two non-government organizations (NGO), as most large grazing locations are being stocked with cattle at this time. Department staff members have also been spending time on allotments assisting range riders in coverage. Along with the specific deterrents listed above, sanitation (removal of dead livestock) has been occurring on an as needed basis. Direct hazing of wolves occurred in both Dirty Shirt and Smackout.

Kittitas County

Permit grazing for cattle and sheep has been initiated in the Department of Natural Resources’ Teanaway Community Forest and the USFS Swauk Permit Range, both of which encompass the Teanaway Pack’s known territory.

In the Teanaway Community Forest, cattle movements and behavior have been monitored by the producer and WDFW. Salt locations, cattle movements, calf weights, and range conditions were discussed daily or weekly among the producer and the department. Inspections of cattle use areas are conducted a least three days each week to record injured, sick, or missing cattle, as well as general herd condition and stress level. Cattle are currently grazing or directed away from within 1.3 miles of the denning sub-basin. Salt has been placed away from the denning sub-basin and at least 2.6 miles away. At least twice weekly, searches of the areas containing wolves and cattle are conducted to monitor interactions. No negative wolf and livestock interactions have been observed or reported. Active range riding will begin July 1.

In the Swauk Permit Range, sheep were placed east of the known pack territory boundary. A sheep herder, herding dogs, and guard dogs reside with the sheep. No negative wolf and livestock interactions have been observed or reported. Active range riding will begin July 1.

 

Depredation investigations

King County

June 6: WDFW investigated a dead calf in King County. After the depredation investigation, physical and eyewitness accounts led to the determination that the calf was likely killed by a domestic dog or coyote.

Depredation timeline

Requested by the Wolf Advisory Group at the last meeting. Updates will be provided in each monthly wolf report.

Crossed out entries are no longer within the 10-month window, and no longer count towards depredation totals as outlined in the Wolf-Livestock Interaction Protocol.

Pack

Date of depredation

Depredation type

Proactive Nonlethals

10-month window

Consider lethal removal

Sherman

(1 known animals)

July 12, 2017

Confirmed kill (#1)

Y

May 12, 2018

No collar on the known individual in this area.

 

July 21, 2017

Confirmed injury(#2) (#1)

Y

May 21, 2018

 

 

August 24, 2017

Confirmed kill (#3)  (#1)

Y

June 25, 2018

 

 

August 29, 2017

Confirmed kill (#4)  (#1)

Y

June 29, 2018

Removed 1 wolf on Sept 1, 2017

Smackout

(6 known animals)

July 18, 2017

Confirmed injury (#1)

Y

May 18th, 2018

1 collar currently in the pack

 

July 22, 2017

Confirmed injury (#2)  (#1)

Y

May 22, 2018

Removed 2 wolves – July 2017

 

Oct 9, 2017

Confirmed kill (#3)  (#1)

Y

Aug 9, 2018

 

Leadpoint

(2 known animals)

Aug 30, 2017

Confirmed kill (#1)

Y

June 30, 2018

Collar malfunctioned – April 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Butte, Blue Mtns (Unknown which pack)

Sept 2, 2017

Confirmed injury Calf and cow pair (#1)

Y

July 2, 2018

Mother cow/calf = 1 event

 

Not associated with Tucannon Collar Locations

Togo   

(2 known animals)

November 2, 2017

Confirmed injured calf (#1)

Y

Sept 2, 2018

Caught in the Act – 10/27/2017

Collared adult male wolf in this area.

 

November 8, 2017

Confirmed Kill (calf) (#2)

Y

Sept 8, 2018

 

 

May 20, 2018

Confirmed Kill (calf) (#3)

N

Mar 20, 2019

 

Ferry, Stevens, and Pend Oreille counties

  • June 2 – WDFW investigated a report of a sheep depredation in Ferry County. It was determined that the sheep was killed by a cougar.

  • June 11 – WDFW investigated a horse depredation in Ferry County. The horse’s injuries were determined to be structural.

  • June 12 – WDFW investigated a goat depredation in Stevens County. The goat was determined to have been killed by a cougar.

  • June 16 – WDFW investigated a goat depredation in Stevens County. The goat was determined to have been killed by a cougar.

  • June 18 – WDFW investigated a report of a missing dog in Pend Oreille County. Due to the domestic dog not being found, this investigation was classified as an Unconfirmed Cause of Death.

  • June 20 – WDFW investigated a report of calf depredation in Pend Oreille County. Based on the age of the bones, the investigation was classified as an Unconfirmed Cause of Death.

  • June 22 – WDFW investigated a report of two sheep dead in Ferry County. The sheep were determined to have been killed by a cougar.

  • June 22 – WDFW investigated a report of sheep depredation in Ferry County. The sheep was determined to have been killed by a cougar.

  • June 22 – WDFW investigated a report of calf depredation in Stevens County. After the investigation it was determined to be an Unconfirmed Cause of Death.

Packs
Carpenter Ridge