TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Over 600 tracking cameras will be placed across Idaho's landscape to help track the states wolf population.
Close to 60 will be scattered around southern Idaho, with the rest going up north toward Idaho's panhandle. The cameras will track occupancy and abundance of wolves taking over 11 million photos to get an estimate of the states population.
This project began three years ago and important now after SB1211 passed establishing a year-round trapping season for wolves on private property.
“It’s important that we are able to track what that is doing to the population,” said Sierra Robatcek, a regional wildlife biologist for Idaho Fish and game.
Idaho's current population sits at around 1,500 wolves and dips to about 900 after takings are accounted. The population usually sees a common uptick after the spring when new pups are integrated into their pack.
Idaho has one of the healthiest wolf populations in the the northwest says Robatcek. “The fish and wildlife service said 1,500 wolves for the entire rocky mountain recovery area was what they were shooting for. We have that in Idaho.”
Idaho Fish and Game hope they can expand this camera tracking system to other wildlife such as deer, wolverines, porcupines, and bobcats.