Wolf population statistics
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
October 25, 2008
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports:
"Each year we provide a rough mid-year [mid September] wolf population estimate for wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains [NRM].
"There are no known wolf packs in the NRM DPS area [all of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and the eastern one third of Washington and Oregon and a small part of Utah north of Salt Lake City] outside of Montana, Idaho, or Wyoming. However, a new pack containing a breeding pair and 6 pups was found in north central Washington near Twisp, WA, outside of the NRM DPS. Genetic samples indicate they did not originate from the NRM and likely came from western central British Columbia.
"Our official interagency estimates in our 2008 annual interagency report [March 1, 2009] will certainly be different and much more accurate than these because of better wolf monitoring conditions in fall/winter and ongoing livestock depredation, wolf mortality, and dispersal. These mid-year 2008 figures do give some insight into the likely trend of the wolf population, conflicts, and control relative to last year.
"Overall, the NRM wolf population in 2008 will likely be about the same as it was in 2007, while confirmed livestock depredations and lethal wolf control will be higher than that documented in 2007."
Here is the 2008 mid-year wolf and depredation estimates:
Montana: 360 Wolves, 74 Packs, 36 Breeding pairs
Idaho: 771 Wolves, 89 Packs, 39 Breeding pairs
Wyoming: 332 Wolves, 34 Packs, 22 Breeding pairs
Total: 1455 Wolves, 197 Packs, +97 Breeding pairs
In addition, wolves killed 10 dogs so far this year in the region, as well as 6 llamas.
In response to livestock depredations in 2008, wolves were lethally controlled as follows:
Montana: 60 (up from 50 in 2007)
Idaho: 81 (up from 40 in 2007)
Wyoming: 31 (down from 45 in 2007).
It should be noted that the control numbers for Wyoming include wolves lethally removed in agency authorized control actions, including legal defense of property by private citizens - and does not include wolves killed in Wyoming’s predatory animal area by hunters [9 wolves].
Livestock killed by wolves (confirmed):
Montana: 44 Cattle, 39 Sheep
Idaho: 81 Cattle, 189 Sheep
Wyoming: 45 Cattle, 16 Sheep
Total: 169 Cattle, 242 Sheep