Wolf Monitor, Current News, Sightings, Legal Action, Wolf Pack Maps, Photos     By News Reporter Cat Urbigkit • Pinedale Online!

 Wolf News

Welcome to Wolf Watch!        |     Books by Cat Urbigkit
Wyoming news reporter Cat Urbigkit lives in the heart of wolf country, near Boulder, Wyoming, a few hundred miles south of Yellowstone National Park. As a news reporter, rancher, researcher and Wyoming resident, she has followed the wolf issue for many years and written many articles on the topic, as well as an upcoming book on the history of wolves in Wyoming.
   The goal of this website is to present up-to-date, accurate information about what is happening with wolves, focusing on wolves in the Rocky Mountains, but referring to wolf happenings outside our region when there is some local relevance. Rather than an agenda-driven advocacy site, this is the place to be for the facts about wolves, with a strong focus on what’s happening on the ground.
   We invite those living in areas inhabited by wolves to contact Cat with news tips, photographs, or other information. We also invite those who want to support this endeavor to sign on as sponsors, and for our readers to support those sponsors.

2018 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2017 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2016 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2015 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2014 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2013 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2012 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2011 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2010 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2009 Wolf Watch Story Archive

2008 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2007/2006 Watch Wolf Story Archive

7/10/19: Wolf Problems, 7/10/19
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) As wolf advocates gather names on petitions for a ballot initiative to reintroduce wolves to western Colorado, the animals are showing up in the state. Colorado Parks & Wildlife is investigating two recent wolf reports in northern counties of the state. A black radio-collared wolf from Wyoming was photographed in Colorado's Jackson County (which abuts Wyoming), and another wolf was reported in Grand County (the next county south).  On July 6, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife staff discovered a dead adult cow while monitoring livestock in areas of recent wolf activity from OPT pack members. The owner of the cow is the same livestock producer who experienced wolf depredations by the OPT pack in 2018. A central Wisconsin sheep farm has one sheep remaining after a wolf pack killed 14 of the animals in one night. According to the Associated Press, 40 sheep were lost in a wolf pack in another county in May.

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7/8/19: Wolf News Roundup 7/8/19
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Twelve Mexican wolf pups are now being cared for and raised by surrogate wild wolf parents after successful efforts to introduce them into existing wolf litters in Arizona and New Mexico. In Washington state, the Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association (SCCA) is urging Eastern Washington residents that are experiencing problems with predators to call their local sheriff first, before calling the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW.) SCCA notes that the local sheriff has a mandate to protect persons and property, unlike WDFW who is managing wildlife as its priority. WDFW will often fault the public or the landowner for not doing enough to prevent predator attacks instead of managing aggressive wildlife. The difference in perspective has led to some questionable actions by WDFW, according to the cattlemen.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

6/12/19: Wolf News Roundup 6/12/19
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) USDA Wildlife Services (WS-Wyoming) has issued its decision for wolf conflict management in Wyoming. The decision document continues the federal agency’s role in wolf conflict management activities, with a few changes. The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife adopted changes to its wolf management plan that require the use of non-lethal methods to deter predators prior to wolf control, and only allows lethal control as an option if a wolf is involved in at least two confirmed attacks in a nine-month period.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

5/30/19: Wolf News Roundup 5/30/19
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The Idaho Falls Post Register is running a five-part series on living with wolves. The current installment focuses on the unforeseen impacts of wolves. Examples include range cattle spooked by wolves attacking herding dogs, weight loss in livestock, reduced conception rates, and other behavioral issues, including elk movement onto private property to escape wolves..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

5/17/19: Wolf News Roundup 5/17/19
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has extended the comment period for its proposal to remove gray wolves in the contiguous United States from the list of federally protected species. The Trump administration’s proposal to remove gray wolves from the list of federally protected species drew the support of the head of Oregon’s wildlife department, but the governor of that state issued a letter overriding the wildlife department, instead declaring that "The state of Oregon and its agencies do not support the delisting of wolves…".... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

4/21/19: Wolf News Roundup 4/21/19
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife has released a revised wolf conservation and management plan and is accepting public comment on the document through June 7. The plan provides for more flexibility in lethal control of wolves that repeatedly prey on livestock. The document can be downloaded at the link below. Seven Canadian wolves, 3 females and 4 males, were translocated to Isle Royale National Park over the weekend by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) and the National Park Service (NPS)..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

4/21/19: WY Wolf Population Drops 18%
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Despite the deaths of 177 wolves in Wyoming in 2018, the state’s wolf population tallies at least 286 (an 18% drop from a year ago), and agencies spent at least $1.5 million on wolf management and monitoring. Wyoming is required to maintain at least 150 wolves and 15 breeding pairs in order to comply with federal delisting standards. WG&F is responsible for managing wolves in northwestern Wyoming’s wolf trophy game area, while in the remainder of the state, wolves are treated as predators and can be killed at any time.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

4/21/19: Mexican wolves kill dozens of livestock
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) A reading of the monthly Mexican wolf update from the Arizona Game & Fish Department (AZGFD) gives an overview of the struggles experienced by livestock producers, with Mexican wolves confirmed as killing cattle on nearly a daily basis during the month of March.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

4/10/19: UW study questions effects of reintroducing top predators
(By University of Wyoming) For years, scientists have assumed that when top predators are reintroduced to an ecosystem, the effects are predictable: The ecosystem will return to how it was before the predators were wiped out. Now, University of Wyoming researchers have published a study showing that there’s little evidence for such claims. This has big implications for wildlife conservation in places such as Yellowstone National Park. This new study questions old assumptions. Do we really know or understand what historical conditions were? Does reintroducing apex predators alter ecosystems with any predictability at all? "Large carnivores are great, but using their effects on ecosystems to justify reintroduction might not hold up to scrutiny and could be counterproductive in the long term.” Researchers say more study is needed..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

4/10/19: Washington wolf count up
(By Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife) The recovery of Washington's wolf population continued in 2018 as numbers of individual wolves, packs, and successful breeding pairs reached their highest levels. Officials are pleased to see populations expand to the west side of the Cascades.  Information and survey findings are compiled from state, tribal, and federal wildlife specialists based on aerial surveys, remote cameras, wolf tracks, and signals from radio-collared wolves. As in past years, the annual count provides estimates of the minimum numbers of wolves in the state, because it is not possible to count every wolf. State management of wolves is guided by the department's 2011 Wolf  Conservation and Management Plan, which establishes standards for wolf-management actions. Since 1980, gray wolves have been listed under state law as endangered throughout Washington. In the western two-thirds of the state, they are classified as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

4/10/19: Oregon wolf count up 10%
(By Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife) State wildlife biologists counted 137 wolves in Oregon this past winter, a 10 percent increase over last year’s count of 124, according to the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management 2018 Annual Report. This annual count is based on verified wolf evidence (like visual observations, tracks, and remote camera photographs) and is considered the minimum known wolf count, not an estimate of how many wolves are in Oregon. The actual number of wolves in Oregon is likely higher, as not all individuals or groups of wolves present in the state are located during the winter count. Confirmed depredation incidents by wolves increased 65 percent from last year, with 28 confirmed incidents (up from 17 last year). A total of 17 calves, one llama and two livestock guardian dogs were lost to wolves and an additional 13 calves were injured. Three wolf packs were responsible for the majority of depredations (Rogue - 11, Pine Creek - 6 and Chesnimnus - 5). While known wolf numbers have increased considerably over the last nine years, depredations and livestock losses have not increased at the same rate...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

4/10/19: Mexican wolf population up 12%
(By Arizona Game & Fish Department) The recent Mexican wolf count indicates that the population of Mexican wolves has increased by 12 percent since last year, raising the total number of wolves in the wild to a minimum of 131 animals. The recent Mexican wolf count indicates that the population of Mexican wolves has increased by 12 percent since last year, raising the total number of wolves in the wild to a minimum of 131 animals. Researchers conducted ground counts in Arizona and New Mexico from November 2018 through January 2019, and aerial counts of Mexican wolves in February. The Mexican wolf is the rarest subspecies of gray wolf in North America. It is listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. Once common throughout portions of the southwestern United States and Mexico, it was all but eliminated from the wild by the 1970s. The results of this census reflect great progress being made in the recovery of the Mexican wolf in the United States. The increase of about 12 percent in the Mexican wolf population is not an isolated year, but rather a continuum of increases over the last 10 years..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

4/2/19: Wolf News Roundup 4/2/19
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Although the federal population goal is 1,600 wolves, Minnesota’s population now numbers more than 2,600 wolves. Some Minnesota legislators are proposing to prohibit wolf hunting in that state if federal delisting does happen. A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine concludes that the Mexican gray wolf is a valid subspecies of gray wolf. The red wolf’s species status has been controversial because the individuals used to establish the breeding program were captured from a region where there had already been substantial interbreeding between red wolves and coyotes and gray wolves. Seven Canadian wolves, 3 females and 4 males, were translocated to Isle Royale National Park. With this latest translocation effort, the population of wolves on Isle Royale is now 15. The first year’s objective was to translocate 8–10 wolves from the Lake Superior region to the remote island park, to increase the population and restore predation, while providing for genetic diversity..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/21/19: Wolf News Roundup 3/21/19
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Matthew Brown and John Flesher of the Associated Press have put together a comprehensive article about the possible impact of the proposal to remove federal protection for gray wolves in the Lower 48 states. The article notes that in states where wolf hunting and trapping occur, wolves have proven their resilience, expanding their range into other states even while hunting restrictions have been eased. The Associated Press team included views of more than a half-dozen wolf managers across the nation. In Oregon, wildlife officials report that the Rogue wolf pack killed a 16-week old mastiff guardian pup in Jackson County. Fish and Game has completed wolf control actions in northern Idaho's Lolo elk zone removing some wolves to improve elk survival in the area..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/17/19: Wolf delisting proposed
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) has issued proposed rules to remove gray wolves in the Lower 48 states from federal protection of the Endangered Species Act. The Trump-administration proposal is the latest in a string of similar proposals issued under the Bush, Obama and Clinton administrations that all ultimately failed after litigation by wolf advocates. With a variety of conservation organizations already pledging to sue to keep wolves protected, it can be expected that the new proposal will befall the same fate as its predecessors..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/11/19: Wolf News Roundup 3/11/2019
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Efforts to delist wolves nationwide from the list of federally protected species are expected to ultimately fail yet again as wolf advocates succeed in convincing federal courts to keep the predators protected. Numerous wolf advocacy groups have already pledged their intention to sue, and have undertaken fundraising efforts to contest the government’s proposal to delist the animals. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has determined that 23 dead sheep found in a private pasture in Curry County were probably killed by wolves. This Oregon county was not previously known to have one of the state’s wolf packs. More wolves have been released onto Isle Royale as wildlife managers use the predator to keep moose populations under control. Wolves in Tajikistan have attacked and killed two women, a police officer, and two young boys. The attacks reportedly took place when wolves entered villages after heavy snowfall. A wolf-hunting ban was imposed several years ago there and rifles were confiscated. Villagers now resort to defending themselves with shovels and pitchforks...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

2/28/19: Deer Escape Tactics
(By University of Washington) As gray wolves continue to make a strong comeback in Washington state, their presence can’t help but impact other animals — particularly the ones these large carnivores target as prey. White-tailed deer and mule deer, two distinct species common in Washington, are among wolves’ favorite catch. Wolves will chase deer great distances — sometimes upwards of 6 miles (10 kilometers) — in search of a satisfying meal. How these two deer species respond to the threat of being pursued by wolves in the early years of this predator’s return could shed light on changes to their behavior and numbers. To help answer this question, researchers from the University of Washington and other institutions monitored the behavior and activity of wolves and deer in Washington for three years. They found that mule deer exposed to wolves, in particular, are changing their behavior to spend more time away from roads, at higher elevations and in rockier landscapes....... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

2/19/19: Wolf News Roundup - 2/19/19
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) In Wyoming, Park rangers at Grand Teton National Park recently conducted an investigation into an illegal take of a gray wolf within the park boundary that resulted in a conviction. Two individuals from Wyoming, a male 56 years of age and a female 55 years of age, were charged with illegal take of wildlife within the park. A female wolf translocated to Isle Royale park in October 2018 has left the island. The Northwest Territories government is providing financial incentives for hunters who kill wolves within the North Slave area where barren ground caribou populations are undergoing a sharp decline. According to Canadian news, hunters who bring in wolves from the area can receive up to $1,650 per wolf, provided the carcasses meet certain taxidermy and traditional standards...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

2/15/19: Game & Fish continues wolf monitoring effort
(By Wyoming Game & Fish) In April of 2017, following some legal challenges, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department resumed management authority over wolves in Wyoming, outside of Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Indian Reservation. A large part of management is monitoring wolf numbers, distribution, survival and overall demographics of the population to inform management decisions. One tool the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's Large Carnivore Section employs in monitoring is the capturing and radio-marking of wolves. Ideally, the objective is to have at least one wolf collared in every known pack. The hope is to put out as many as 40 additional radio collars on wolves over the course of the winter to evaluate new packs and changing distributions, and to derive an accurate count for wolves in the trophy game management area..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

1/13/19: Wolf News Roundup 1/13/19
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) A hunter shot and killed a wolf in northeastern Montana, about 300 miles from where most of the state’s wolves are known to roam, according to the Associated Press. The 70-pound female wolf was killed on the plains near Glasgow by a landowner with a wolf hunting license. As Oregon moves forward with revision of its wolf management plan, KTVL in Oregon talks with a rancher who has lost five calves and one livestock guardian dog wolves. Check out the links below for the details. Wisconsin wildlife officials estimate the state is home to at least 905-944 wolves, living in 238 packs, for an average of 3.8 wolves per pack. Occupied wolf range in the state is estimated at about 24,000 square miles. .... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

1/7/19: Wolf News Roundup 1/7/19
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The hunting season for wolves in the trophy game area of northwestern Wyoming closed with the end of 2018. According to the Wyoming Game & Fish Department, 44 wolves were harvested, of total quota of 58 wolves in the state’s 14 hunt areas for wolves. There were also 37 wolves killed in Wyoming’s predator zone in 2018. New Year’s Day rang in with the Rogue wolf pack killing another calf on private property in Jackson County, Oregon, hitting the same range on which previous depredations have occurred. Wildlife officials have confirmed eight kills in the last two months, in addition to several unconfirmed kills. Wolves in the region are federally protected, and the cattle-killing wolves will not be subject to lethal control..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

2018 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2017 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2016 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2015 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2014 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2013 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2012 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2011 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2010 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2009 Wolf Watch Story Archive

2008 Wolf Watch Story Archive
2007/2006 Watch Wolf Story Archive


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