According to report, wolf population has increased
The 2011 Interagency Annual Report for the Northern Rocky Mountain Distinct Population Segment compiled by cooperating federal, state and tribal agencies, estimates that the NRM population increased to 1,774 wolves and 109 breeding pairs. The NRM area includes all of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, the eastern one-third of Washington and Oregon and a small portion of north central Utah.
“These population estimates indicate the credible and professional job Montana and Idaho have done in the first year after they have assumed full management responsibilities, as well as successful cooperative efforts to manage wolves in the remaining portions of the range,” said Steve Guertin, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director of the Mountain-Prairie Region. “We believe the management plans developed and implemented by the states will maintain a healthy wolf population at or above our recovery goals.”
Wolf packs, especially breeding pairs, typically remain within the three core recovery areas in northwestern Montana/Idaho Panhandle, central Idaho, and the Greater Yellowstone Area, but breeding pairs were again confirmed in eastern Washington and Oregon.
Private and state agencies paid $309,553 in compensation for wolf-damage to livestock in 2011. Confirmed sheep depredations declined from 245 sheep killed in 2010 to 162 sheep killed by wolves.
“Hunters have played a key role for decades in helping to manage and sustain dozens of game populations in North America, and they can do the same for wolves. Combined with efforts to remove wolves found to be predating on livestock, they can help reduce conflicts with humans,” said Guertin. “The reduction of these conflicts is another crucial element in our ability to sustain the wolf’s recovery in the Northern Rocky Mountains.”