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Pinedale Online > News > February 2012 > Wyoming wolf populations continues growth

Figure 1. Photo by FWS.
Figure 1
Minimum number of wolf packs and breeding pairs in WY: 1999-2011.

Figure 2. Photo by FWS.
Figure 2
Wolf population growth in WY: 2000 - 2011.

Table 1. Photo by FWS.
Table 1
Total wolf mortality in WY (outside YNP) from 2003 through January 31, 2012.

Table 2. Photo by FWS.
Table 2
Confirmed livestock depredations and control actions in WY from 2003 through January 31, 2012
Wyoming wolf population up
Continues growth
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
February 26, 2012

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued an update
on wolves in the Northern Rockies and surrounding regions.

The agency reports:
Idaho: As of 2/17/2012, 229 wolves were harvested by hunters and 77 wolves were taken by trappers. Hunting season closed in two wolf zones (Beaverhead and Island Park) on Dec. 31.

The remaining wolf hunting zones are scheduled to close on March 31, with the exception of two zones (Lolo and Selway) closing on June 30. Trapping season (5 wolf zones) is scheduled to close on March 31.

The wolf hunting season closed on 2/15/2012 with 166 wolves harvested.

The Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan was adopted in 2005 and updated in 2010. At least 5 packs exist in the eastern portion of the state within the NRM DPS and >2 wolves have dispersed west outside of the DPS.

The Washington Fish and Game Commission approved a final wolf conservation and management plan in December 2011. At least 3 packs exist in the eastern portion of the state in the NRM DPS and >2 packs exist in the federally listed western portion of the state.

Utah: No wolf packs were documented in Utah in 2011.

Yellowstone National Park:
On 31 December 2011, > 98 wolves in 10 packs (including 8 breeding pairs), with 2 loners occupied Yellowstone National Park (YNP).

Wyoming (outside YNP):
On 31 December 2011, Wyoming (WY) had >230 wolves and > 38 packs (including > 19 breeding pairs) outside YNP (Figures 1 and 2).

Livestock conflicts:

In 2011, wolves killed > 65 livestock (35 cattle and 30 sheep), 1 horse, and 1 dog in Wyoming (Table 2). Two packs [Green River (15 cattle) and Dog Creek (17 sheep) and 1 wolf in the Big Horn Mountains (10 sheep) were responsible for 42 depredations (64% of the total number of depredations). Fifteen packs (40% of WY packs in 2011) were involved in > 1 depredation; 8 packs (21%) were involved in > 2 depredations; and 6 packs (16%) were involved in > 3 depredations in 2011.

The USFWS and Grand Teton National Park (GRTE) began their 3rd field season of a collaborative winter wolf predation study in early January 2012. We are monitoring 3 wolf packs in the north end of GRTE and the surrounding national forest to investigate wolf predation patterns in areas of relatively low winter elk density. We use GPS and VHF radio collars to track wolves and locate carcasses of ungulates killed by wolves. Between 10 January and 31 January, we located 13 wolf kills. Prey species and composition included 10 elk (3 bulls, 4 cows, 2 calves, and 1 adult unknown sex) and 3 moose (1 cow and 2 calves).

Related Links
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wolf page - Officials web site.
  • Wolf Watch - by Cat Urbigkit
  • Pinedale Online > News > February 2012 > Wyoming wolf populations continues growth

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