This came from the Columbia Basin Bulletin, which tracks fish and wildlife issues throughout the Northwest. It’s a good overview of the wolf populations in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Washington and Oregon. The bottom line is fewer wolves and breeding pairs, but more packs in the Northern Rockies area (which includes Washington and Oregon) in 2012 than there were in 2011.
Here are excerpts from the report:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in collaboration with other federal, state and tribal agencies, has released the 2012 Annual Report for the Northern Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf Population, which is conducted as part of the Service’s work to monitor the wolf population to ensure that it continues to thrive under state management and no longer needs federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.
As of Dec. 31, there were at least 321 confirmed packs and 1,674 wolves within the Northern Rocky Mountain area. The 2011 report showed at least 287 confirmed packs and 1,796 wolves within the NRM area.
In comparison to the 2011 study of the NRM, the report shows a nearly 12 percent increase in the number of wolf packs. The report also shows a nearly 7 percent decrease in the overall population, which is in line with the Service’s expectation for the year. The number of breeding pairs also decreased by 5 percent, from 109 pairs in 2011 to 103 pairs in 2012. Overall, the wolf population remains well above the recovery levels identified by Service and partner biologists in the recovery plan.
In 2012, 231 “problem” wolves were lethally removed by agency control, which includes legal take in defense of property by private citizens.
During the year, Montana removed 108 wolves by agency control and harvested 175 wolves in their hunting season; Idaho removed 73 wolves by agency control and harvested 329 wolves by public hunting; and in Wyoming, 43 wolves were removed by agency control and 66 harvested through regulated hunting. Washington removed seven wolves. In Oregon, no wolves were removed by agency control. No wolves were harvested in Washington or Oregon.
There’s lots more information available. Get full report here.