First Depredation of 2017 Pt 1
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife wolf coordinator, Donny Mortarello says the first reported attack for 2017 has been reported on grazing land in northeast Washington and there appears to be a new pack involved ...
DONNY MORTARELLO ... "So, we did have the reported depredation on the 12th of June. It's in an area where the Sherman pack and the Profanity Peak pack have some overlapping territory which is very normal in wolf ecology and territoriality. You know, when you think about territories, they kind of fit together like pieces of a puzzle. Wolves are territorial, their family unit is a pack, but those pieces of the puzzle don't fit together perfectly. There's always a little overlap here and there, where packs share a little bit of the landscape."
And, Mortarello says, "sure enough" ...
DONNY MORTARELLO ... "This depredation was in an area like that. We did the investigation on the very next morning, early in the morning on the 13th, and we had one confirmed wolf depredation on a calf, which was a dead calf. And then we had another one which was essentially a scattering of older bones that the cause of death was unknown."
Mortarello says both packs have a collared wolf so it was pretty easy to see where the packs were and when, making them reasonably sure it was the Sherman pack.
Listen tomorrow for more on this first depredation and what's being done to manage the relationship between the growing wolf population and grazing cattle.