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Wolves Collared for Continued Monitoring
MARK GOCKE, PUBLIC INFORMATION SPECIALIST, 307-249-5811
March 26, 2021
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JACKSON - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is continuing its wolf monitoring effort this winter with the capture and collaring of several animals across their range in northwest Wyoming. The Game and Fish Department is responsible for management of the state's wolf population outside Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Indian Reservation.


Wyoming Game and Fish Wolf Biologist Ken Mills inspects a sedated young adult female wolf from the Pacific Creek Pack near near Moran, WY. The animal was captured in the Spread Creek drainage, which is an unusual location for them as they are typically north of Togwotee Pass.

So far this winter, approximately 43 new collars have been deployed, bringing the total number of marked animals to over 75 within the state's trophy game management area. Managers like to have at least 1-2 collared animals in each pack to monitor the changing distribution and derive an accurate count for the population. The Department has also been deploying additional GPS collars to assist in cooperative research projects with University of California-Berkeley, the National Elk Refuge, and Grand Teton National Park. Regular aerial surveys are flown to keep tabs on the collared animals and their associated packs.


Game and Fish Wolf Biologist Ken Mills reads the scale as a young adult female from the Horsetail Creek pack is weighed at a handling station near Kelly recently. The animal's GPS collar had failed and was being replaced.

Most of the captures are handled in the field away from people by a contracted professional wildlife capture crew. The crew will typically net-gun the animals, collect blood and other biological samples, fit it with a GPS collar or traditional VHF radio collar and release it on-site. The battery life will allow the GPS collar to record the animals' travels in detail for approximately 2-3 years; traditional radio collars last 7 years. In addition, the Department’s Large Carnivore biologists also venture into the field to follow-up on reported sightings, which helps gain accurate counts of wolves, as well as assist with the aerial captures each year.


Game and Fish Wolf Biologist Ken Mills collects a blood sample from a young adult female wolf from the Pacific Creek pack as wolf researcher Kristen Barker looks on. After biological samples are collected and the animal is fitted with a GPS collar, it is flown back to the area where captured and released.

To learn more about wolves in Wyoming visit the Game and Fish website or click this link: https://wgfd.wyo.gov/Wildlife-in-Wyoming/Large-Carnivore/Wolves-in-Wyoming.

- WGFD -
 

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Always Busy improving the resources.......Hats off to these divisions that are fully engaged in protecting and improving their wildlife resources.

Pronghorn Collared to Supplement Migration Data
MARK GOCKE, PUBLIC INFORMATION SPECIALIST, 307-249-5811
March 22, 2021

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Game and Fish collars 75 pronghorn to learn their migration patterns!

PINEDALE - This winter a Game and Fish-contracted wildlife capture crew deployed 75 GPS collars on doe pronghorn in the Sublette herd, which covers much of southwest Wyoming north of Interstate-80. This was in addition to 19 collars that were deployed last winter in an effort to fill in ‘holes’ in an existing dataset.

The Sublette pronghorn herd is among the Cowboy State’s largest, currently numbering some 35,000 animals with a herd population objective of 48,000. In multiple studies between 2004 and 2017, nearly 600 individual pronghorn from the Sublette herd were fitted with GPS satellite tracking collars, bringing to light one of the longest intact big game migration corridors in North America. It was discovered that some pronghorn in the Sublette herd seasonally move nearly 200 miles between summer ranges in Grand Teton National Park and winter ranges north of Rock Springs.

With the large number of animals that have been collared over the years, the dataset for the Sublette herd is very robust. However, wildlife managers and researchers realized there were still important portions of the herd where no pronghorn had been collared.



These newly-collared animals will provide the fine-scale location data needed to not only delineate migration routes, but also reveal important stopover areas where animals stock up on nutrients along the way. The data will also inform managers on where to locate local conservation measures such as fence modifications and improved highway wildlife crossings.

The Department is currently reviewing this large dataset and following the steps outlined in the Governor's Executive Order 2020-1 to evaluate the Sublette pronghorn herd's seasonal movements for potential identification or designation as a migration corridor.

- WGFD -
 

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Discussion Starter · #203 ·
Utah checking on Denning Bears- This is pretty cool.....

Each year biologists climb inside bear dens to quantify reproduction and recruitment of Utah's black bear population. This usually means tranquilizing the mother bear, performing a health assessment, checking her GPS collar fit, and determining how many cubs, if any, were born during the winter. They are too cute not to share!


 

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Video taken yesterday-
 
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