Wolf News Roundup 6/12/2017
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
June 9, 2017
Wolves Killed In Predator Zone
As of Friday, June 9, there have been 11 wolves legally killed in Wyoming’s predator zone since wolves were removed from federal protection on April 25, according to Kennith Mills with the Wyoming Game & Fish Department. That number includes wolves killed through depredation control actions as well as legal hunter harvest in the predator zone.
At the present time, wolf hunting is NOT allowed in the Trophy Game Management Area (TGMA). The TGMA is where the vast majority of wolves in Wyoming live and there is not an established hunting season in place. WG&F’s proposed hunt area quotas and hunting regulations are expected to be finalized in late July.
Wolves outside the TGMA are considered predatory animals as defined in state law and therefore can be harvested. Any wolf harvested in the predator zone must be reported to the Game and Fish within 10 days of harvest, this can be done by phone. WG&F would like to obtain a genetic sample from each harvested wolf. WG&F does not manage wolves outside the Trophy Game Management Area.
Montana wildlife officials are making plans to change the way wolves are counted, easing away from trying to count every wolf in the state to using hunter sightings to help map out areas occupied by wolf packs.
The Oregon Cattlemen's Association has given notice that it intends to sue the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for its failure to move forward with removing wolves from the list of federally protected species in the Lower 48.
Wolves are moving into the western portion of Washington state, 100 miles from the closest known wolf packs. State wildlife officials are investigating recent sightings and photos.
Red & Eastern Wolves
A team led by University of Idaho researchers is calling into question a widely publicized 2016 study that concluded eastern and red wolves are not distinct species, but rather recent hybrids of gray wolves and coyotes. In a comment paper that published this week in the journal Science Advances, the team examines the previous study and argues that its genomic data and analyses do not definitively prove recent hybridization — but rather provide support for the genetic and evolutionary distinctiveness of red and eastern wolves.
Wisconsin’s wolf population has grown six percent in the last year, and now totals about 950 animals, according to the most recent population county by state wildlife officials. Along with the population increase has been a rise in hunting dog deaths caused by wolves, with state officials paying out nearly $100,000 in compensation.
For more information, check out the links below.