Wolves

Mike Gabelmann / Flickr Creative Commons

Three of four wolves fitted with tracking collars in a central Idaho wilderness area last year by state officials without federal approval are surviving as another winter approaches.

State officials say the surviving wolves from three different packs are still roaming the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

Officials say an adult female died in May due to unknown causes.

Jim Peaco | Yellowstone National Park / Flickr Creative Commons

A central Oregon man who put poison on a deer carcass in a central Idaho wilderness leading to the death of a wolf and a dog has been sentenced to 10 days in jail and ordered to pay $10,000 to reimburse the state for investigative costs.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that Tim Clemens of Hines, Oregon, pleaded guilty earlier this month to one count of poisoning animals and one count of unlawful take of big game.

gray wolf, wolves
U.S. Fish & Wildlife

Idaho officials say livestock depredations by wolves appear to have reached a low point, showing that the program is on the right path.

The Capital Press reports that Idaho Wildlife Services Director Todd Grimm says his office killed 70 wolves in Fiscal Year 2016, which ended Oct. 1, 50 of the wolves were tied to livestock depredations. The recent numbers were about the same as during FY 2015 and slightly down from 2013.

Grimm says he believes depredation cases have gotten about as low as they will be.

Rachel La Corte / AP Images

Wildlife managers are struggling to find and kill the remaining wolves in a northeast Washington pack. The Profanity Peak wolf pack has been in the crosshairs of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife since early August. The state began hunting the pack this summer after officials confirmed at least eight cattle were injured or killed by the wolves.

gray wolf, wolves
U.S. Fish & Wildlife

A Boise State academic is studying what it takes for humans and large carnivores to live together in the same environment.

Neil Carter is an assistant professor at Boise State. His study tries to figure out how humans can successfully coexist with large carnivores, like bears, wolves and tigers.

He found that humans are already adapting to living with animals, as we encroach on their territory. But he also found that the animals are adapting, too, to changes brought by people.

Five conservation groups on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in Idaho seeking to stop a federal agency from killing wolves in the state until a new environmental analysis is prepared.

Idaho-based Western Watersheds Project and four other groups in the 27-page federal lawsuit say the 2011 analysis by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services is outdated.

 

gray wolf, wolves
U.S. Fish & Wildlife

According to Idaho Fish and Game biologists, 786 wolves roamed the state in 2015. That compares to 770 the year before. The agency calls the dispersal of the animals a success, and points out the numbers remain above the minimum required by the state and federal government.

 

Jim Peaco | Yellowstone National Park / Flickr Creative Commons

Federal wildlife services and Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials have joined forces to kill wolves in the Clearwater Region for the third year in a row.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that elk herds have been struggling in the remote country for nearly two decades.

The U.S. Forest Service on Wednesday issued a notice of non-compliance to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game after the state agency violated an agreement by using a helicopter in a central Idaho wilderness to put tracking collars on wolves.

The two-page notice includes additional requirements the state must follow when seeking approval for future landings in wilderness areas.

The Forest Service on Jan. 6 approved Fish and Game's request to use helicopters in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness to put collars on elk.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The federal official who oversees the Salmon-Challis National Forest says Idaho Fish and Game’s unapproved collaring of four wolves in a wilderness area last week is a “big deal.”

Dan Stahler / Yellowstone National Park Flickr

Idaho Fish and Game collared four wolves in the Frank Church Wilderness earlier this month. The action was unauthorized by the Forest Service, the agency that oversees the area.

Mike Keckler with Fish and Game says the issue comes down to a communication problem. One of the crews assigned to put tracking collars on elk in the wilderness area also collared four wolves. Keckler says they do that under normal operations, but in this case the agency had a specific agreement with the Forest Service to only collar elk.

Washington Fish and Game

Federal wildlife officials have rejected a petition from advocates who sought to reclassify gray wolves as a threatened species in most of the U.S.

Gray wolves across most of the Lower 48 are classified as endangered, which is more protective than a threatened designation. Advocates hoped a change to threatened would pre-empt intervention from members of Congress who want to lift federal protections altogether.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A northern Idaho man who shot and killed a wolf will spend six months on unsupervised probation.

The Coeur d'Alene Press reports 54-year-old Forrest Mize was convicted by a jury Thursday and can petition to remove the crime from his record if he completes his probation without violations.

Mize says he shot the wolf in self-defense. He later decided to keep the pelt, bringing it to a taxidermist and buying a tag.

Defense lawyer Michael Palmer says Mize thought he was killing a coyote.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The largest wolf pack known to exist in the West roams in northwest Wyoming.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports 24 wolves in the Lava Mountain Pack.

That is nine more than any other pack surveyed this year in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington or Oregon.

The Lava Mountain Pack roams a hill country about 30 miles northeast of Jackson.

Fish and Wildlife Service wolf coordinator Mike Jimenez tells the Jackson Hole News & Guide that the pack had two litters of pups in 2014.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

State biologists are telling the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission there is enough information to consider taking the gray wolf off the state endangered species list.

A draft status review was posted Tuesday on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife website with materials for the commission's next meeting.

A final decision is not scheduled until August, but the commission is to make the first step in the process — deciding whether it has enough information to consider the issue - when it meets April 24 in Bend.

Debs / Flickr Creative Commons

The Idaho Fish and Game Department says the number of wolves in the state has reached its highest level since 2010, following a corresponding decline in wolves killed by hunters and trappers.

The department's data shows the state's wolf population grew by 13 percent last year. Roughly 770 wolves currently live in Idaho, according to the data released Friday — well above the minimum of 150 wolves that keeps the animal off the federal endangered species list.

Meanwhile, hunters and trappers killed roughly 250 wolves last year — down by almost 100 from the previous year.

Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park | Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho lawmakers have approved spending $400,000 to kill wolves.

The Spokesman-Review reports that the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee approved the money Tuesday for the Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board.

The vote maintains the operating budget at the same level as the previous year for the five-member board created last year and operated under the governor's office.

Last year the board spent about $140,000 to kill 31 wolves between July 1 and Jan. 1 at a cost of about $4,500 per wolf.

Dan Stahler / Yellowstone National Park | Flickr

Trappers killed 77 gray wolves in Montana during the 2014-2015 season that ended over the weekend.

That's down from the previous trapping season, when 87 wolves were killed.

To date, a total of 204 wolves have been killed by hunters and trappers this winter. Montana's rifle hunting season for the animals ends March 15.

Idaho hunters and trappers have killed 205 wolves, as of Feb. 25.

Eleven packs of wolves have recolonized northeastern Washington. Now besieged politicians from that area are seriously proposing to relocate some of those protected wolves to western and southwestern Washington, where there are none.

Thirty-one wolves were killed in the first six months of Idaho’s new Wolf Depredation Control Board.

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