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Latest stats on Pacific Northwest wolves
Washington and Oregon’s annual wolf report is now available. Washington had 13 confirmed packs (defined as two wolves traveling together) in 2013 (9 packs last year), with 5 successful breeding pairs (same as in 2012) and a minimum count of 52 wolves (up one from last year). One of our packs, the Smackout Pack, broke up into four small packs with two known members each this year, contributing to the increase in number of packs.
Washington lost 7 wolves in 2013 that we know of:
1. one radio-collared yearling wolf was killed by a cougar
2. one was legally killed on tribal lands,
3. one killed by a vehicle,
4. one killed by a hunter claiming self-defense
5. one human caused mortality on tribal land
6. one legally killed in British Columbia and
7. one legally killed when he crossed the border into Idaho during the wolf hunting and trapping season there.
Two of these mortalities involved breeding age female wolves that were killed in the North Cascades recovery area, where only three of the 13 wolf packs are currently known to reside. Twenty livestock depredation incidents were investigated in 2013, and four were verified as caused by wolves (3 dogs were injured and one calf killed in the incidents). Unfortunately, to date in 2014, one yearling male wolf was killed by a cougar, two wolves have been legally killed in British Columbia, and one wolf was illegally killed in northeast
Oregon: Down from six to four breeding pair
Oregon repor ted a total minimum population of 64 at the end of 2013 (48 last year), and 4 successful breeding pairs (6 last year). A wolf was documented in December near Mt. Hood, which is only the second confirmed wolf in the Oregon Cascades since a bounty was collected in 1947! The annual report confirmed that Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife lost track of the matriarch of the Imnaha Pack (OR-2/B-300/ Sophie), and she is presumed dead. Significantly, no wolves were killed in Oregon for conflicts with livestock because no incidents qualified for consideration of lethal control. Nonlethal measures are now required to prevent wolf/livestock conflicts before lethal control is an option, and appear to be contributing to zero wolf mortality. Under Oregon’s new lethal control rules, as of February, the Snake River Pack has 3 qualifying depredations, which will expire in April and May. This pack spent 99% of its time in 2013 in the Hells Canyon Recreation Area, far from humans.