Wolf Watch, by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online! NPS Photo.

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

 Wolf News

Welcome to Wolf Watch!          WOLF NEWS  |  Cat's new Wolf Book
Wyoming news reporter Cat Urbigkit lives in the heart of wolf country, near Big Piney, 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 re aders to support those sponsors.

Article by Cat & Jim Urbigkit:
Using dogs to help protect livestock from predators
(May, 2010)

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

11/26/14: Wolf News Roundup
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) News updates about the Grand Canyon wolf, Mexican wolf, Idaho wolf depredations, and Red wolf recovery program.".... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

11/12/14: High stress in heavily hunted wolves
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) A new research paper reports on the results of an examination of stress and reproductive hormone levels in hunted populations of wolves in northern Canada. The paper, "Heavily hunted wolves have higher stress and reproductive steroids than wolves with lower hunting pressure" was published this week in the journal Functional Ecology. The report concluded: "The potential physiological effects of substantial, human-caused mortality suggest that hunting could be causing changes in reproductive structure and breeding strategy, as well as imposing chronic stress. Though increased reproduction might be viewed as a positive response of wolves to population reductions, the implications on lifetime reproductive output and generational survival of offspring as compared with undisturbed populations are unknown.".... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

11/12/14: Mexican Wolf lawsuit filed
(By Center For Biological Diversity press release) A coalition of wolf conservation groups, environmental organizations and a retired federal wolf biologist sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on November 12th for repeated failures over the last 38 years to develop a valid recovery plan for the imperiled Mexican gray wolf. With only 83 individuals and five breeding pairs in the wild at last report, Mexican gray wolves remain at serious risk of extinction. The groups argue that the recovery plan, a blueprint for rebuilding an endangered species’ population to sustainable levels, is necessary to ensure the lobos’ survival and is legally required under the Endangered Species Act. Earthjustice is representing Defenders of Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity, retired Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator David R. Parsons, the Endangered Wolf Center and the Wolf Conservation Center. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include two environmental education organizations that operate captive-breeding facilities providing Mexican gray wolves for release into the wild.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

11/12/14: Big Packs, Bigger Game
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Researchers at Utah State University published a new paper indicating that wolf pack size may influence what prey is targeted. Smaller packs of 2-6 wolves are successful at taking down elk, but bigger packs (9-13 wolves) turn to bison as prey. Elk are much smaller than bison. The paper, "Influence of Group Size on the Success of Wolves Hunting Bison," was published in the online journal PLos ONE, with research centered on wolf packs in Yellowstone National Park. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that hunters in large groups are more cooperative when hunting more formidable prey. Improved ability to capture formidable prey could therefore promote the formation and maintenance of large predator groups, particularly among predators that specialize on such prey..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

11/9/14: New predator book released - By Cat Urbigkit
(By Lyons Press media release ) Lyons Press is proud to announce the release of "When Man Becomes Prey: Fatal Encounters with North America’s Most Feared Predators", by Cat Urbigkit ($16.95, paperback). "When Man Becomes Prey" examines the details of fatal predator attacks on humans, providing an opportunity to learn about the factors and behaviors that led to attacks. The predators profiled in the book include black bears, grizzly bears, mountain lions, coyotes, and gray wolves—the first time all five species have been included in one volume. Compelling narratives of conflicts involving these top predators are accompanied by how-to information for avoiding such clashes. ..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

11/9/14: Wolves roaming Denmark
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) It has been reported that after a 200-year absence, wolves have been detected in Denmark. Although sightings of wolf packs have been reported, researchers have not been able to locate any resident female wolves or pups – yet..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

11/7/14: Wolf News Roundup
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Updates on wolf news in Washington, Maine, Michigan and Arizona. The Humane Society in Michigan has vowed to make legal challenges to end the hunting of wolves in that state. A wolf spotted near the Grand Canyon has been DNA tested to be a “wolf-dog” hybrid. The Center for Biological Diversity is hoping to double the number of wolves in the lower 48 states and wants to add 359,000 square miles into what is considered wolf habitat into protected acreage...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

10/31/14: Wolf spotted at Grand Canyon
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) A gray wolf has been spotted and photographed on the North Rim of Arizona's Grand Canyon, according to news accounts. The large animal appears to be wearing a nonfunctioning radio collar, and there is speculation that the animal may be from the Northern Rocky Mountain wolf population found hundreds of miles to the north. Mexican wolves are generally much smaller than their northern counterparts..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

10/29/14: Roundup of Wolf Issues
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) While wolves in Wyoming remain back under protections of the federal Endangered Species Act, Wyoming Public Media reports that Wyoming's congressional delegation has pledged to go to Congress to get wolves delisted in the state. Montana and Idaho were successful in getting wolves delisted via federal legislation after years of litigation. A federal judge recently overturned Wyoming's wolf management plan based on a deficiency state officials are now trying to correct through rule-making. If Congressional action were successful, the legal battles could finally be ended..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

10/8/14: Yellowstone Wolf Update
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) After the fall 2012 wolf hunting seasons in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, 12 wolves that primarily lived within Yellowstone National Park boundaries were legally harvested outside of the park. The Yellowstone wolf population responded with an increase in the number of wolf packs producing pups (9 out of 10 packs), and having more pups per litter (up from 2.5 to 4.6 pups) in 2013. By the end of 2013, total wolf population numbers were up slightly, and no wolves that primarily lived in Yellowstone National Park were harvested during the hunting or trapping seasons in adjacent states. The primary mortality factor for wolves in the park was intraspecific aggression - wolves killing wolves...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

9/24/14: Governor signs Emergency Wolf Rule
(By Wyoming Governor Matt Mead press release) In response to the ruling by US District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson placing the gray wolves back under the protection of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Governor Mead today (Sept. 24, 2014) signed and filed an emergency rule establishing that Wyoming’s commitment under its management plan is legally enforceable. The emergency rule has the full force and effect of law immediately and is effective for 120 days or 240 if extended by the Governor. The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission initiated the formal rulemaking process set forth in the Administrative Procedures Act that will make this emergency rule permanent. The Commission expects to complete the process in November..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

9/24/14: Governor Mead responds to wolf ruling
(By Wyoming Governor Matt Mead press release) The State of Wyoming received and reviewed a 40-page decision by District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in which she reversed the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to transfer management of the gray wolf in Wyoming. Wyoming expects to seek a stay of the decision in conjunction with the creation of an emergency rule which confirms its existing management protocol.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

9/23/14: WG&F to refund wolf licenses
(By Wyoming Game & Fish Department) A ruling by a federal district court judge in Washington, D.C. places gray wolves in Wyoming under federal protection. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department notifies residents and hunters that this suspends the take of gray wolves in Wyoming. The State of Wyoming anticipates filing a motion to stay this decision this week. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has suspended all sales of gray wolf licenses and will establish a system to refund hunters who have already purchased a 2014 gray wolf license. Hunting in the trophy game area in northwest Wyoming scheduled to begin in October is suspended pending the outcome of the motion for stay. The judge’s decision also impacts year-round hunting in the predator area and landowners protecting livestock and pets..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

9/23/14: Wyoming wolf management overturned
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) A federal court in Washington, D.C. has set aside Wyoming’s authority to manage wolves in the state, bringing the species back under protection of the Endangered Species Act. The lawsuit challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to delist wolves and transfer management of the species to the State of Wyoming was brought by the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Fund for Animals, Humane Society of the United States, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

9/23/14: Wyoming wolves back under Federal protection!
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) A federal court in Washington, D.C. set aside Wyoming’s authority to manage wolves within the state – reinstituting Endangered Species Act protection for the species within Wyoming’s border. That means that wolves may not be hunted or harvested in the state. No wolf hunting season can take place, and wolves may not be killed even within Wyoming’s predator zone. Wyoming livestock producers may not take wolves in their livestock herds. If you have problems with wolves, please call your Wyoming Game and Fish Department contacts, or USDA Wildlife Services at 307-362-7238 or 307-320-5109..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

9/3/14: Washington sheep moved
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The Washington sheep rancher whose herd has sustained numerous attacks by a pack of wolves has given up the private pasture and moved the herd – a full six weeks earlier than scheduled.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

8/31/14: Idaho wolf hunting season open
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The Idaho Fish & Game Department has a statewide quota of 185 wolves to be taken in the 2014-2015 hunting and trapping seasons. The fall season opened August 30. .... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

8/31/14: Wolf attacks shouldn't force movement of sheep
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Washington ranchers are voicing opposition to pressure from environmental groups who want a rancher to move his sheep herd from its grazing grounds on private property in order to reduce conflicts with wolves. Wolves have preyed on the herd (killing two dozen sheep in eight separate incidents) despite the presence of guardian dogs, range riders, herders, and agency personnel. State wildlife officials have killed one wolf in the pack and plan to kill up to four wolves in hope of halting the attack..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

8/31/14: Red Wolf Program under review
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering whether to continue with the red wolf recovery program in eastern North Carolina. The program has had limited success. If the agency decides to pull the plug on the program, it won't be the first time, as a similar program in the Smoky Mountains was halted about 15 years ago...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

8/21/14: Washington adopts new wolf tactics
(By Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife) A rancher and state wildlife officials working to herd a flock of 1,800 sheep away from the site of recent wolf attacks in southern Stevens County received authorization to shoot wolves that approach the flock. Wolves killed 16 sheep in four separate incidents on leased forest land near a small community about 48 miles northwest of Spokane. The latest attack occurred the night of Aug. 18. Nine other sheep found prior to Aug. 14 had decomposed to the point where the cause of death could not be determined. Necropsies of the carcasses confirmed the sheep were killed by wolves, he said. The rancher has four large guard dogs and camps alongside his flock at night, yet the attacks have continued...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

8/7/14: MT Landowners granted new wolf tool
(By Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks) The Montana Fish & Wildlife Commission recently adopted rules and an annual wolf quota completing the process necessary to allow private landowners to take a limited number of wolves per year that potentially threaten livestock, domestic dogs or human safety. The annual quota allows landowners or their agents to take up to 100 wolves a year without a hunting license. The rule, which doesn't apply to public lands, comes as confirmed wolf depredations on livestock took a significant drop in 2013 and follows a trend of fewer overall agency control actions. A variety of nonlethal predation deterrents are also employed in Montana in cooperation with landowners to reduce the risk of wolf attacks. Landowners also have the right to take wolves in the act of attacking livestock without affecting the 100-animal quota..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

8/7/14: MT Wolf licenses available
(By Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks) Montana's wolf hunting licenses will be available beginning Aug. 4 for the state's 2014-15 regulated wolf hunting season. For the 2014-15 wolf seasons, hunters will have the opportunity to pursue wolves throughout Montana beginning Sept. 6 for archery hunting, Sept. 15 for the general rifle season and Dec. 15 for trapping. Licenses will be valid within 18 specifically defined wolf management units. Hunters must obtain permission to hunt on private lands. Hunters can purchase up to five wolf licenses. Wolf hunting licenses are $19 for residents and $50 for nonresidents.A trapping license, and the successful completion of a wolf trapping certification course, is needed to trap wolves in Montana..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

7/30/14: Red Wolf Experiment May End
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has agreed to review the red wolf program in eastern North Carolina – at the request of state officials – raising the possibility that the nearly 30-year old program aimed at restoration of the species may end in failure. The entire wild population of red wolves is estimated to number no more than 110 animals..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

7/30/14: Minnesota hopes for 250 wolf harvest
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Minnesota wildlife officials are hoping to boost the wolf harvest to 250 animals - up 30 from last year. A total of 3,800 hunting and trapping licenses will be available this year for sportsmen who seek to harvest a wolf. The statewide bag limit is one wolf per hunter. The state's wolf population is more than 2,200 animals.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

7/30/14: Wolf Hunts Head to Michigan Ballot Box
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Opposing sides of Michigan's wolf hunt are attempting to take their views to the ballot box. The Michigan Legislature has already upheld the authority of its state wildlife agency to set hunting seasons for wolves, but anti-hunting activists have filed petitions to overturn the wolf hunts via popular vote at the ballot box. In response, pro-hunting advocates have filed a petition to uphold the hunt. The drama will continue.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

7/10/14: Cattlemen Not Crying Wolf
(By University of Montana ) A study by University of Montana faculty and graduate students found that wolf predation of cattle contributes to lower weight gain in calves on western Montana ranches. This leads to an economic loss at sale several times higher than the direct reimbursement ranchers receive for a cow killed by wolves. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks cooperated on the study, which analyzed data from ranches in western Montana, including 15 years of records on ranch husbandry, satellite-generated climatological data, spatial data on wolf pack locations and confirmed depredations on 18 ranches. The study quantifies the economic impact of weight loss after a confirmed wolf kill for an average ranch consisting of 264 head of calves. It found that a decrease of 22 pounds in the average weight of calves across the herd implies a $6,679 loss at sale for an affected ranch...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

7/8/14: Wolf Wars, Big Money
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Without adequate space to raise their offspring, wolf packs lash out at competing clans and fight to the death to protect their turf. That’s among findings of a recent study by Utah State University ecologist Dan MacNulty and colleagues from the University of Oxford and the Yellowstone Wolf Project. The team published the research in the April 21, 2014, online issue of Journal of Animal Ecology. Their paper will appear in a future print edition of the British Ecological Society publication...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

7/8/14: Wolf buffer zones around National Parks?
(By U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio press release) Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee Peter DeFazio (D-OR) sent a letter urging Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to create critical buffer zones to protect endangered gray wolves in or around National Parks. In the letter, DeFazio said once the wolves cross out of the park and onto bordering lands, there are a myriad of state regulations allowing wolves to be killed. DeFazio requests that the Department of the Interior (DOI) undertake a concerted and coordinated effort to work with the states to establish a uniform wolf safety zone or buffer around Yellowstone National Park. He also asks DOI to establish an Interagency Wolf Task Force for the purpose of coordinating across the federal and state agencies to protect park wolves from adverse effects of trophy hunting and other causes of human-induced mortality in all National Parks with wolf populations..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

7/8/14: Feds assess dog breeds to protect livestock herds from predator depredation
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Federal government researchers are testing a variety of larger livestock guardian dog breeds to learn if they can better protect livestock herds from wolf depredations. Taking on an adult grizzly bear or a pack of wolves is a lot to ask of a livestock protection dog, but it’s a task they willingly take to protect their herds from predation. For centuries, livestock protection dogs have helped ranchers protect livestock from coyotes, feral dogs, foxes, and mountain lions. Without them, thousands of sheep, lambs, and calves would be killed or injured each year. Livestock protection dogs grow up and live with their herd, patrolling the perimeters of grazing areas to ward of potential predators. Data is also being gathered on wolf and grizzly bear activities and movements in the study areas. Researchers hope to learn whether the European breeds can protect livestock from wolves and bears while also exhibiting appropriate temperaments for living with livestock in pens and on open lands. .... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

6/27/14: WYO wolf harvest tally rises
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Since the start of 2014, seventeen wolves have been taken in Wyoming's predator zone (June 13), according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. In the 2103 wolf trophy hunting season, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department reports that a total of 24 wolves were taken in the fall 2013 trophy wolf hunt (of a total quota of 26). In addition, 39 wolves were harvested in the predator zone in 2013. In 2012, 42 wolves were killed in Wyoming's trophy game areas (of a total quota of 52), while 25 were taken in the predator zone of the state.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

6/16/14: California lists wolf as protected
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The California Fish & Game Commission voted to list the gray wolf as a protected species under its state Endangered Species Act. The action is significant in that state wildlife officials will now be required to initiate a wolf recovery program – in a state that has confirmed the presence of only one wolf nearly 100 years.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

6/16/14: Coastal wolves are different
(By University of Calgary press release) University of Calgary researchers reveal surprising genetic differences among wolves in coastal British Columbia. New research co-authored by University of Calgary alumna Erin Navid provides evidence that British Columbia's mainland wolves and coastal wolves are more distinct than previously believed. The research affirms that 'Timber Wolves' occupy the mainland of the British Columbia coast and 'Coastal Wolves' live on the nearby islands. The authors attribute the observed genetic differentiation to the profoundly different ecological environments. Coastal islands offer wolves more marine-based foods, such as salmon and marine mammals—preferences that are passed on from generation to generation. Over time, coastal wolves bred more frequently with one another and less frequently with their deer-loving relatives on the mainland ... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

5/30/14: Wolves need space (or they kill each other)
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Idaho's Magic Valley.com news has an article alleging that conservation organizations are using Idaho's wolf population to line their pockets. Calling it a " War on Wolves," organizations such as Defenders of Wildlife are using debates over state management of wolves as a fundraising tool..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

4/23/14: Wolves in Germany
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The Global Post reports the presence of wolves in Germany as part of the resurgence of wolf populations across Europe. Wolves were documented in Germany in 2001, and the country now has more than 30 packs. Germany is different than other European countries in that it lacks the wildlife protection infrastructure found elsewhere in the European Union..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

4/23/14: Wolves in Wisconsin
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Hunting and trapping resulted in a 19% reduction in the Wisconsin wolf population in 2013. But the state still has more than 650 wolves – nearly double the statewide population goal.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

4/23/14: High Elk Mortality: Wolves, Disease
(By Wyoming Game & Fish Department) With the supplemental winter feeding program now concluding on most Wyoming Game and Fish Department elk feedgrounds, managers are reporting higher than normal calf mortality at a few feedgrounds, most notably the Camp Creek feedground south of Jackson and the Soda Lake feedground north of Pinedale. Mortality factors include disease and wolf predation. At the Camp Creek feedground, a significant number of the elk investigated involved both disease issues and wolf predation.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

4/22/14: BC releases Wolf Management Plan
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations has released the Province’s wolf management plan. The plan fully recognizes that the fundamental goal of wolf management in British Columbia, as with all other provincial game species, is to maintain self-sustaining populations throughout the species’ range. The wolf management plan, like other species management plans, summarizes the best available scientific information on the biology and threats to the species and informs the development of a management framework. It sets goals and objectives, and recommends approaches appropriate for species or ecosystem conservation..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

4/22/14: Eleven Wyoming wolves killed
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Since the start of 2014, eleven wolves have been taken in Wyoming's predator zone (through April 16), according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. In the 2103 wolf trophy hunting season, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department reports that a total of 24 wolves were taken in the fall 2013 trophy wolf hunt (of a total quota of 26). In addition, 39 wolves were harvested in the predator zone in 2013. In 2012, 42 wolves were killed in Wyoming's trophy game areas (of a total quota of 52), while 25 were taken in the predator zone of the state..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

4/8/14: Wyoming Wolf Population: Minimum of 306
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The Wyoming Game and Fish Department reports that at the end of 2013, the gray wolf population in Wyoming remained above minimum delisting criteria, making 2013 the 12th consecutive year Wyoming has exceeded the numerical, distributional, and temporal delisting criteria established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The WYO end of year wolf population increased 7% from 2012 to 2013 and remained above the minimum delisting criterion of at least 100 wolves...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

4/8/14: Minimum of 1,700 wolves in Northern Rockies
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), in collaboration with other federal, state and tribal agencies, announced the 2013 Northern Rocky Mountain (NRM) Gray Wolf Population numbers. As of December 31, 2013, there were at least 78 breeding pairs and 1,691 wolves within the NRM area. The wolf population remains well above the recovery levels identified by FWS and partner biologists in the recovery plan. Minimum management targets are at least 45 breeding pairs and at least 450 wolves across the NRM area. The minimum population estimate includes wolf packs in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. No wolf packs were documented in Utah..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

4/8/14: Nine wolves taken in Predator Zone
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) There have been nine wolves harvested in Wyoming's predator zone in 2014, according to a Wyoming Game and Fish Department report on April 4, 2014 at 12:30 p.m..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/21/14: Colville Tribes to Monitor Wolves
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Wolves inhabiting Washington's 3.1 million-acre Colville Reservation will soon be the subject of an intensive monitoring effort by the Tribes, thanks to a $187,000 grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The money will allow the hiring of a wildlife biologist, DNA sampling of wolf scat, and other population monitoring techniques..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/21/14: Methow Wolf Research Program
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Eastern Washington's Methow Valley will be the focus of a new $600,000 research program investigating conflicts between wolves and livestock. Members of six wolf packs and two domestic cow herds will be radio-collared, and the calves will be fitted with ear tags, in order to track their interaction..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/21/14: Montana allows landowner-take of wolves
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials have approved new rules allowing landowners to kill wolves posing a potential threat to human safety, livestock, or domestic dogs, without the need for a state-issued wolf hunting license.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/21/14: Alaska wolf kills dog during daylight attack
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) A Haines, Alaska woman was snowshoeing with four dogs near her home when a wolf attacked the dogs, killing one and consuming it in front of the woman. The woman, according to the Anchorage Daily News, hit the wolf with her ski poles on several occasions as the wolf battled with all four dogs, but the wolf was eventually successful in killing one dog in the mid-day attack. The woman described the wolf as appearing weak..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/20/14: Wolf roaming Jackson Hole
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports that a lone wolf has been spotted by numerous residents of the South Park area of Jackson Hole, as the wolf roamed the residential neighborhood on Monday morning. Tracks exiting the area indicated the wolf was headed toward the South Park Elk Feedground. The wolf is in an area open to wolf harvest at this time of year...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/7/14: Cows suffer PTSD-like symptoms
(By Oregon State University) Unlike cows that haven't ever had a run-in with wolves, ones that have can experience stress-related illnesses and have a harder time getting pregnant – meaning decreased profits for ranchers, according to a new study by Oregon State University. Research indicates wolf attacks also create bad memories in the herd and cause a stress response known to result in decreased pregnancy rates, lighter calves and a greater likelihood of getting sick, symptoms much like post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD – for cows. A 2010 OSU economic analysis estimated that wolves in northeastern Oregon could cost ranchers up to $261 per head of cattle, including $55 for weight loss and $67 for lower pregnancy rates. The bottom line is that in a herd, if you are not raising calves, your cows are not making you money..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/7/14: Seven wolves harvested in Wyoming
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The Wyoming Game & Fish Department reports that as of 3 p.m. on March 4, seven wolves have been harvested in Wyoming's predator zone since the start of the year. In addition, the agency has captured and placed radio collars on 34 wolves from 16 pack sin the state (outside of Yellowstone National Park). The agency estimates there are 186 wolves roaming in Wyoming outside Yellowstone and the Wind River Indian Reservation, according to the Associated Press.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/7/14: Idaho calculates wolf control cost
(By Idaho Fish & Game Department) Idaho Fish and Game estimates that last month's wolf control action in the Lolo elk zone cost approximately $30,000. The entire cost will be paid using license dollars paid by sportsmen and women. Fish and Game receives no state general tax dollars. In February, Wildlife Services agents killed 23 wolves from a helicopter. The action is consistent with Idaho's predation management plan for the Lolo elk zone, where predation is the major reason elk population numbers are considerably below management objectives. Fish and Game prefers to manage wolf populations using hunters and trappers and only authorizes control actions where harvest has been insufficient to meet management goals...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/7/14: Oregon learns of wolf trouble
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Livestock producers in Oregon gathered at a recent meeting to learn what it's like to live with wolves entering your cattle herd. Todd Nash of the Oregon Cattlemen's Association provided details of wolf attacks on cattle, as well as the experience of having wolves visit your residential yard and the concerns that raises. Nash discussed the issues raised by attempting to confirm that livestock kills are made by wolves, and that compensation programs don't truly compensate for the actual damages done by these large predators..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/3/14: Black Wolf in Black Hills?
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) A logger has reported spotting a black wolf northwest of Rapid City, South Dakota. And numerous residents of Spearfish have reported a wolf in a residential area in the last few months. Yet a state wildlife official discounts these reports. It appears the only time the state wildlife agency believes reports of wolves in that state is when another wolf carcass is brought in - something that happens every few years..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/3/14: Feds produce wolf-coyote pups
(By USGS press release) Scientists have successfully produced hybrid pups between a male western gray wolf and a female western coyote in captivity. By artificially inseminating a female western coyote with western gray wolf sperm, U.S. Geological Survey scientists and partners from the St. Louis Zoo, University of California, Davis, and Wildlife Science Center recently demonstrated that coyotes are able to bear and nurture healthy hybrid offspring. The results contribute new information to an ongoing question about whether the eastern wolf of southeastern Canada (and formerly of the eastern U.S.) is a unique species that could be protected by the U. S. Endangered Species Act. The findings are published in the journal PLOS ONE.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/3/14: Idaho kills 23 Wolves in Lolo
(By Idaho FIsh and Game press release) Idaho Fish and Game, in cooperation with the USDA Wildlife Services, has completed another wolf control action in northern Idaho's Lolo elk zone near the Idaho/Montana border to improve poor elk survival in the area. In February, Wildlife Services agents killed 23 wolves from a helicopter. The action is consistent with Idaho's predation management plan for the Lolo elk zone, where predation is the major reason elk population numbers are considerably below management objectives. Fish and Game prefers to manage wolf populations using hunters and trappers and only authorizes control actions where harvest has been insufficient to meet management goals. The Lolo zone is steep, rugged country that is difficult to access, especially in winter..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/3/14: Isle Royale Wolf Death
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The debate about the future of wolves on Isle Royale just got a little more complicated. While wolf biologists and advocates debate whether there should be human intervention to boost the dwindling Isle Royale wolf population, frigid winter temperatures have allowed an ice bridge to form, connecting the island to the mainland, increasing hope for natural recruitment for the wolf population. But it appears the opposite has happened. A five-year old female wolf from the island has been found dead on the mainland after crossing the ice bridge..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

3/3/14: Wolf on Mount Hood
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Oregon's wolf population is growing and wolves are being documented in regions of the state where wolf presence hasn't been confirmed in a half-century. State wildlife officials even documented a wolf on Mount Hood in the Cascades, hundreds of miles from the core of the state's wolf population. This is the same region of the state where the famous wandering wolf OR-7 roams. OR-7 became famous when he journeyed into California, but his travels eventually took him back into Oregon...... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

2/21/14: Wolves Return to Germany
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The return of wolves to Germany in the last two decades has come with the same controversy associated with wolf and human co-existence in other regions of the world where wolves are making a comeback..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

2/21/14: Isle Royale Wolf Debate
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) While wolf biologists and advocates argue and debate whether there should be human intervention to boost the dwindling Isle Royale wolf population, nature proceeds. At least two wolf pups have been found, and frigid winter temperatures have allowed an ice bridge to form, connecting the island to the mainland, increasing hope for natural recruitment.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

2/21/14: ESA Reform Recommended
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The Endangered Species Act (ESA) Congressional Working Group, led by Representatives Doc Hastings (WA-04) and Cynthia Lummis (WY-at large), released its final Report, Findings and Recommendations, calling for reform of the Endangered Species Act. The report is the culmination of the Working Group’s eight-month effort to examine the ESA from a variety of viewpoints and angles, receive input on how the ESA is working and being implemented, and how and whether it could be updated to be more effective for both people and species. The report reflects hundreds of comments from outside individuals and testimony from nearly 70 witnesses who appeared before a Working Group forum and House Natural Resources Committee hearings. The report concludes that after more than 40 years, sensible, targeted reforms would not only improve the eroding credibility of the Act, but would ensure it is implemented more effectively for species and people. "We all agree on our obligation to protect imperiled species. Our Working Group has concluded that the Endangered Species Act needs updating in light of tremendous conservation advances since 1973," said Rep. Lummis.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

2/21/14: Idaho Ranchers Can Protect Livestock
(By Idaho Fish & Game Department) One of the five management goals listed in the 2002 Idaho Wolf and Conservation Management Plan was to minimize wolf-human conflicts by coordinating with USDA Wildlife Services to achieve prompt response to notifications of wolf depredation and prompt resolution of conflicts. Fish and Game wants to make sure Idahoans understand state law also assures the right of individuals to protect their livestock and domestic animals from wolves. Producers may contact their local Fish and Game regional office if they kill a wolf that has been molesting or attacking domestic animals, causing depredation loss, or if they need a permit to control wolves that may molest or attack livestock. On a case-by-case basis, Fish and Game may issue a kill permit to producers who have experienced chronic wolf depredations that remain unresolved.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

2/13/14: Alberta wolf bounties
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Conservationists are calling for a halt to the wolf bounty system used in Alberta – which pays up to $500 per wolf killed in the province. Last spring, bounties were paid on more than 600 wolves killed in Alberta. Wildlife biologists say that instead of a bounty system, wildlife managers should establish systems utilizing predator control officers to target wolves that prey on livestock, as is done in Wyoming.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

2/13/14: Idaho posts new predator plan
(By Idaho Fish and Game) A predation management plan for the Middle Fork Salmon River area, largely within the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, is now posted on the Idaho Fish and Game website. The plan outlines efforts Fish and Game is considering to restore the Middle Fork elk population, which declined 43 percent from 2002 to 2011 - due in large part to predation. Elk cows and calves in the area are vulnerable to predation, and the number of calves surviving is too low to replace the adults dying each year, causing a continuing decline in the herd. Research indicates wolf removal rates of 30 percent or less typically do not cause any lasting reductions in overall wolf population numbers because wolves reproduce at a high rate and often disperse to new territories. Future management actions to support elk recovery will be designed to maintain approximately 35 to 40 wolves in the Middle Fork zone.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

2/13/14: Feds delay wolf delisting
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Last week, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service decided to reopen the comment period on the wolf proposal because an independent review panel stated the belief that the proposed rule does not represent the best available science. The Service intends that any final action resulting from this proposed rule will be based on the best available information. The peer review report is available online, along with instructions on how to provide comment and comprehensive links relating to the proposal. The Service expects to make final determination on the proposal by the end of 2014.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

1/22/14: Idaho Wilderness Wolf Control Ends
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Environmentalists are calling it a victory, but state wildlife managers report it as mission accomplished. The subject of these differing views is the recent Idaho Fish and Game decision to hire a trapper to enter an Idaho wilderness with the purpose of eliminating two wolf packs in order to help the declining elk population..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

1/22/14: Wolf shot in Grand Teton Park inholding
(By Grand Teton National Park press release) A gray wolf was shot and killed at a private inholding within Grand Teton National Park on Monday, January 20, 2014. The National Park Service and Wyoming Game and Fish Department are investigating the incident..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

1/19/14: Court Rejects Wolf Advocate Arguments
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) Wolf advocates in Idaho have brought forth two lawsuits in federal district court in the last month challenging the harvest (or potential harvest) of wolves in that state, but in both cases, their requests to stop the action were denied by the court. The first case was filed by Wild Earth Guardians, Project Coyote, Western Watersheds Project, Boulder-White Clouds Council, and the Animal Welfare Institute. These animal advocates filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service, seeking a restraining order to prevent a wolf and coyote hunting derby in the Salmon, Idaho area. The second case was filed earlier this month in response to the Idaho Department of Fish & Game's decision to hire a wolf hunter to eliminate two packs of wolves in the Frank Church Wilderness with the goal of helping the area's elk population recover from low calf survival.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

1/19/14: Wolf shot in Missouri
(By Missouri Department of Conservation) DNA testing by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has confirmed that a canine shot in Wayne County Missouri in late November by a private landowner while hunting is a grey wolf, most similar to grey wolves from the Great Lakes population. According to MDC, there is no known breeding population of wolves in Missouri. Over the past decade, Missouri hunters have occasionally shot wolves that wandered here from other states, mistaking them for coyotes. The few wolves that have appeared in Missouri in recent years appear to be young animals from other states seeking new territories, particularly from Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Michigan..... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

1/15/14: Updated Wyoming Wolf Harvest 2013
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) With the closing of the 2103 wolf hunting season, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department reports that a total of 24 wolves were taken in the fall 2013 trophy wolf hunt (of a total quota of 26). In addition, 39 wolves were harvested in the predator zone in 2013. In 2012, 42 wolves were killed in Wyoming's trophy game areas (of a total quota of 52), while 25 were taken in the predator zone of the state.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

1/15/14: Wolf Impact Re-assessed
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) At least one expert has suggested that scientists have become so attached to the iconic cachet of the wolf story that they credit the species with ecological roles beyond what the research demonstrates. Take the trophic cascade theory for wolves in Yellowstone: "The story of wolves in Yellowstone has been made true by repeated telling, not by good science," said Tom Hobbs, an ecologist at Colorado State University who studies how willows are responding to the wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone. "The trophic cascade story is stated as if it is undisputed fact, but it is not. It’s a lovely story, a simple clear one. But in reality, it is more nuanced, more complex, and it may even be dead wrong." The comments in the current issue of Western Confluence magazine, a project of the Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

1/3/14: Wyoming Wolf Season closed
(By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!) The Wyoming Game and Fish Department reports that as of Dec. 31, 2013 at 5 p.m., Wyoming's 2013 wolf hunting season has closed. A total of 24 wolves were taken in this fall's trophy wolf hunt (of a total quota of 26). In addition, 37 wolves were harvested in the predator zone in 2013.In 2103, 42 wolves were killed in Wyoming's trophy game areas (of a total quota of 52), while 25 were taken in the predator zone of the state. Stats are also given for Montana, Idaho and upper mid-west states.... (Click on the link above for the complete story.)

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 Wolf Watch Story Archive


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