September 30, 2020

Rocky Mountain Wolf Population Rises Over 1,000

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The latest report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows that the gray wolf population in the Idaho, Wyoming and Montana region has swelled to 1,020 animals, far above planned expectations. In addition, mating pairs have risen to  71 compared to the 30 pairs officials thought would be more than enough to viably sustain a gray wolf population.

Outside Yellowstone Park, the wolf population in Wyoming has grown by 33% but inside the park wolf numbers have fallen sharply. Officials say the pup mortality rate is high due to a disease that is killing them. Overall, Wyoming’s wolf numbers have declined but Idaho and Montana have seen a steady increase.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has indicated their intention to seek to have the wolf removed from the protected status. This will occur as soon as all three states have acceptable plans in place to manage the wolf packs. Idaho and Montana have fulfilled that requirement but Wyoming has yet to present a plan that USFWS will accept. Wyoming has been to court trying to force USFWS to accept their plan but to no avail.

Livestock losses in these areas dropped between 2004 and 2005 and at the same time, the number of wolves killed by government officials or legally by ranchers, has risen sharply. An official with the Idaho Farm Bureau Association says that ranchers are still seeing a lot of livestock mortality. He says the wolves are becoming accustomed to the non-lethal methods used to keep the animals away.

The plans in place by the three states would allow hunting of the wolf to some degree once it is de-listed.

Previous Posts

Some States Want the Wolf De-Listed, Others Don’t

Gray Wolves to be Hunted Again

Wolves Likely Killed Ontario Man

Don’t Blame the Big Bad Wolf, One Study Claims

Fish and Wildlife Service Officially Announce Plans to De-List Wolf 

Tom Remington

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