Tag Archives: wolf recovery

Wolf population in Washington likely larger than estimates

Gray Wolf
Gray Wolf

Looks like the wolf population in Washington State may be doing better then anyone thought . . .

The number of wolves in Washington state is likely much higher than previously thought, according to a University of Washington researcher who spent two years studying the animals using scat-sniffing dogs.

Samuel Wasser said his dogs detected 95 wolves in one area of Stevens and Pend Oreille counties, in the rural northeast corner of the state, during the 2016-17 season. That approached the total number of wolves wildlife officials estimated for the entire state.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife a year ago estimated Washington had a minimum of 122 wolves, grouped in at least 22 packs, and 14 successful breeding pairs.

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A new way to estimate wolves in Montana

Collared Wolf - courtesy USFWS
Collared Wolf – courtesy USFWS

Montana officials are hoping to try a new, less expensive way to estimate the wolf population . . .

In the span of a human lifetime, gray wolves have re-established their presence in Montana’s mountains and forests.

Human settlers had driven most of the predators out by the early 1930s. But beginning in the 1970s, Endangered Species Act protections and re-introductions fostered a recovery. Montana’s wolf population has grown from about 50 confirmed animals in the 1990s to nearly 500 today.

The recovery is often hailed as a success story for wildlife management. But now, the wolf population’s growth is making management tougher.

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Montana, other states urged to set clear goals for wolves

Collared Wolf - courtesy USFWS

A group of scientists feels that Montana, as well as other states with wolf populations, are more or less just playing things by ear . . .

A group of 14 scientists with backgrounds in large carnivore research have called on state wildlife management agencies to set “clearly defined, quantitative policy goals” for wolf management.

“One of the big issues in science-based management is to have clear goals,” said Scott Creel, a professor in the Department of Ecology at Montana State University in Bozeman and the lead author of the paper published in the December issue of Science magazine. “Avoiding being listed under the Endangered Species Act is one of the goals, but it’s not clear if that’s the only goal.”

Creel said the conservation policy paper is an “attempt to redefine what is a sustainable level” of wolf removal through hunting, trapping and those killed by stockmen.

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Wolves making comeback in Eastern Washington

Gray wolves seem to be making a steady recovery in Eastern Washington . . .

The state says Washington’s wolf population grew by more than 30 percent last year and formed four new packs.

The annual survey by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife found at least 68 gray wolves in the state through Dec. 31, 2014. That was up from at least 52 wolves counted in 2013.

The state also found there are now 16 wolf packs and at least five successful breeding pairs.

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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service wolf recovery information online

For those of you who like to dig into source materials, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service maintains a web site with news, information and recovery status reports on gray wolves on the Northern Rockies. You’ll find it here: http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov.

The agency’s “Office of External Affairs” also maintains a page with links to wolf-related press releases, public notices, hearing transcripts, articles and studies at http://www.fws.gov/home/wolfrecovery/.

Group of lawmakers wants wolf protections preserved

More blow-back from that rejected federal wolf study . . .

Federal lawmakers pressed Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Wednesday to drop the administration’s plan to end federal protections for gray wolves across most of the Lower 48 states.

Seventy-four House members signed onto a Wednesday letter to Jewell that cited a peer-review panel’s recent conclusion the government relied on unsettled science to make its case that the wolves have sufficiently recovered.

Gray wolves were added to the endangered-species list in 1975 after being widely exterminated in the last century. Protections already have been lifted for rebounding populations of the predators in the northern Rockies and Great Lakes regions.

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Panel says assumption of ‘eastern wolf’ species not justified

One of the assumptions basic to the federal government’s wolf recovery plan may be in error . . .

A proposal to lift federal protections for gray wolves across most of the U.S. suffered a significant setback Friday as an independent review panel said the government is relying on unsettled science to make its case.

Federal wildlife officials want to remove the animals from the endangered species list across the Lower 48 states, except for a small population in the Southwest.

The five-member U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service peer-review panel was tasked with reviewing the government’s claim that the Northeast and Midwest were home to a separate species, the eastern wolf.

If the government were right, that would make gray wolf recovery unnecessary in those areas.

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Feds delay wolf plan independent review

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service messed up the initial stages of an independent scientific review of their plan to remove federal protections for wolves across most of the U.S. Now they have to back up and try again . . .

A federal agency is delaying an independent analysis of a plan to drop legal protections for wolves across most of the nation because of concerns about the selection of experts to conduct the review, an official said Tuesday.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in June called for removing gray wolves across the Lower 48 states from the endangered species list, with an exception for the struggling Mexican wolf in the Southwest. Agency director Dan Ashe said the wolf had recovered to the point that it could thrive and even enlarge its territory without federal oversight, although some advocates and members of Congress said the move was premature.

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Feds propose lifting most wolf protections in Lower 48

It’s now official. The federal government wants to lift Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves within the Continental U.S. . . .

The Obama administration on Friday proposed lifting most remaining federal protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states, a move that would end four decades of recovery efforts but that some scientists said was premature.

State and federal agencies have spent more than $117 million restoring the predators since they were added to the endangered species list in 1974. Today more than 6,100 wolves roam portions of the Northern Rockies and western Great Lakes.

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Proposed rule would end federal wolf protections in Lower 48

The U.S. Department of Interior has posted a draft rule proposing to remove federal wolf protections . . .

Federal wildlife officials have drafted plans to lift protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states, a move that could end a decades-long recovery effort that has restored the animals but only in parts of their historic range.

The draft U.S. Department of Interior rule obtained by The Associated Press contends the roughly 6,000 wolves now living in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes are enough to prevent the species’ extinction. The agency says having gray wolves elsewhere — such as the West Coast, parts of New England and elsewhere in the Rockies — is unnecessary for their long-term survival. A small population of Mexican wolves in the Southwest would continue to receive federal protections, as a distinct subspecies of the gray wolf.

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