600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
August 19, 2016
Contact: Donny Martorello, (360) 902-2521
WDFW Wildlife Program, (360) 902-2515
WDFW to restart wolf removal
after finding dead, injured calves
OLYMPIA – State wildlife biologists have received authorization to remove a wolf pack in Ferry County after investigating two calf carcasses and an injured calf in a grazing area today.
The injured calf was classified as the subject of a confirmed wolf attack and the dead calves as subjects of probable wolf attacks. Since mid-July, WDFW has confirmed that wolves have killed or injured six cattle and probably five others, based on staff investigations.
Jim Unsworth, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), authorized field staff to remove the remaining members of the Profanity Peak wolf pack to prevent additional attacks on cattle in the rangelands between Republic and Kettle Falls.
State wildlife officials shot two pack members Aug. 5, but announced an end to wolf-removal efforts after two weeks passed without finding any more evidence of wolf predation on cattle.
"At that time, we said we would restart this operation if there was another wolf attack, and now we have three," said Donny Martorello, WDFW wolf policy lead. "The department is committed to wolf recovery, but we also have a shared responsibility to protect livestock from repeated depredation by wolves."
Martorello noted that removing the entire Profanity Peak pack may prove challenging, given the rugged, timbered landscape in the area.
The Profanity Peak wolf pack is one of 19 known wolf packs in Washington state. Earlier this summer, WDFW determined that the pack had at least 11 members, including six adults and five pups.
Since 2008, the state's confirmed wolf population has grown from two wolves in one pack to at least 90 wolves and 19 packs by early 2016.
For more information on the conflict with the Profanity Peak pack, see the previous news release at http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/aug1816a/. Periodic updates to WDFW's Wolf Advisory Group are posted at http://wdfw.wa.gov/about/advisory/wag/.