Wyoming wolf depredations continue
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
August 24, 2009
On 8/19/09, WY Wildlife Services confirmed a calf killed by wolves west of Cody, WY. Control was completed on 8/20/09 when 2 wolves were removed to minimize additional depredations.
On 8/20/09, WY Wildlife Services confirmed 2 lambs killed by wolves between Pinedale and Big Piney, WY. The USFWS requested WY Wildlife Services to remove 2 wolves seen in the area of the depredations.
On 8/21/09, WY Wildlife Services confirmed an adult cow was killed and a 2nd adult cow was injured by wolves near Sunlight Basin, west of Cody, WY. An employee of the livestock producer observed 3 wolves attacking the injured cow. The cow was severely injured and was euthanized. Wolves in this area have a history of chronic depredations. The USFWS requested Wildlife Services to remove the 3 wolves involved in the depredation.
Summary of livestock depredations in 2009: Wolf depredation patterns this summer in Wyoming have been different compared to previous years. Wolves have killed exceptionally large numbers of sheep but fewer cattle in the first 8 months of 2009, compared to 2008 and 2007. Five wolves have been removed in 2009.
Sheep and guard dog depredations: From January through August 2009, 3 packs (Big Horn Mtn., Dog Creek, and Black Butte Packs) have killed >152 sheep and 3 guard dogs, compared to 14 sheep killed from January through August in 2008 and 16 sheep killed from January through August in 2007. The increase in sheep depredations in 2009 is due mainly to 2 new packs that recently formed in areas heavily grazed by domestic sheep. The Big Horn Mtn. Pack (2 adults probably with pups) killed > 70 sheep in June and July. The Dog Creek Pack (4-6 adults with 6 pups) killed >45 sheep and 3 guard dogs in August. The Black Butte Pack existed for the last 2 years and killed >37 sheep and injured 1 guard dog in 2009. Control is ongoing to remove wolves in all of these areas where depredations have continued.
Cattle and pet dog depredations: From January through August 2009, Wildlife Services confirmed 9 cattle killed by wolves as compared to 29 cattle killed by wolves in the same time period in 2008 and 44 cattle in 2007. One pet dog was also killed by wolves in 2009.