More aggressive wolf control initiated
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
November 12, 2007
Mike Jimenez of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that if things seemed different in 2007, it’s because they were: FWS was more aggressive at controlling problem wolves this year, and the results are in the numbers.
Throughout the years, there have been wolf packs that prey on livestock year after year. This year, in those packs, FWS instructed USDA Wildlife Services to get on those packs after the first attacks and take them out.
“We went after them right off the bat,” Jimenez said. Instead of killing one or two wolves from a pack, the majority of the pack members were killed. That seems to have made a big difference in terms of damage.
In 2006, 45 wolves were killed in control actions. So far this year, 55-60 wolves have been killed in control actions.
While confirmed cattle kills due to wolves in 2006 totaled about 120, this year that number dropped to less than 60. While not all kills are found or can be confirmed, it appears that this year there was less damage to livestock from wolves in Wyoming.
Jimenez noted that there are 14-15 breeding packs of wolves in Wyoming, with additional wolves roaming the state as well.