WA: Addressing Wolf Conflicts
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
April 2, 2018
A new nonprofit organization has been awarded more than $185,000 to provide non-lethal wolf deterrence for livestock producers in northeastern Washington. The Northeast Washington Wolf-Cattle Collaborative intends to provide a collection of deterrence devices (flashing lights, electric fences and chargers, air horns) for use by livestock producers, as well as training and hiring range riders at an estimated cost of $20,000 for each rider for the June-October grazing season.
In other wolf news, the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife has released its annual report on wolf activity in the state in 2017.
"The minimum estimated wolf population in Washington increased by approximately 6% over the 2016 minimum count to at least 122 known wolves in 22 known packs including at least 14 breeding pairs. Pack sizes ranged from 2 to 13 wolves and averaged 4.8 ± 2.6 wolves per pack. One collared wolf in the North Cascades in Skagit County has a defined territory, but no other wolves have been confirmed. State, federal, and tribal biologists captured 12 wolves (10 new wolves and 2 recaptures) from 12 different packs and monitored a total of 22 unique radio collared wolves from 15 different packs, plus one lone wolf with no pack affiliation, that existed in Washington at some point during 2017. WDFW documented 14 mortalities in Washington during the year including three due to agency removal actions, three legal harvest, two caught-in-the-act, two vehicle collisions, and four other human caused that are still under investigation.
"Wolf populations were managed to ensure progress towards recovery goals while minimizing chronic loss of livestock caused by wolves. WDFW investigators confirmed 8 cattle as being killed by wolves and none as being probable wolf-kills. Five cattle were confirmed to have been injured by wolves. Five packs (23% of known packs that existed at some point during the year) were involved in at least one confirmed livestock mortality. Three wolves were removed through agency removal actions during 2017. WDFW processed two damage claims and paid a total of $3,700.00 to compensate livestock producers who experienced losses caused by wolves during 2017."
For details, check out the links below.