Increasing Wolf Population
I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
During a recent meeting of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission the state Department of Fish and Wildlife carnivore section manager, Donny Martorello, reported that the estimated number of wolf packs in the state has increased from nine packs in 2012 to thirteen packs in 2013. Twenty livestock depredations were investigated by the department last year, with four of those positively identified as wolf depredation, and six being caused by undetermined predators. The remaining non-wolf kills were caused by other large predators, such as cougars or coyotes, or other causes that included falling, drowning, domestic dogs, and large bird attacks. Fish and Wildlife supports a proposal to remove the wolf from the endangered species list. Wolves have been delisted in the eastern one-third of the state, but remain federally listed and state listed as endangered in the western two-thirds of the state. Washington cattleman, Jack Field comments on that interesting dynamic.
FIELD: Lethal take is not an option anywhere in the western two-thirds, so we have to do everything we can to make sure we have all the pro-active measures possible, all the non-lethal deterrents that may work so we can hopefully prevent any further loss. We’ve got livestock producers that are trying to get out and make a living and we’ve got a number of swirling uses and management challenges that we’ve got to figure out and I believe both state and federal partners are really rolling their sleeves up to see what can be done to effectively manage and mitigate the issue.
The 2013 Annual Survey of Wolves in Washington can be viewed on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website.
That’s Washington Ag Today.
I’m Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.