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Smackout wolf pack: 2017 lethal removal action report

Category: Wildlife Research and Management - Non-Game Management and Conservation

Date Published: September 21, 2017

Number of Pages: 94

INTRODUCTION:

This report describes the management actions taken by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW or department) from September 21, 2016 through September 21, 2017 to address recurrent livestock depredations by the Smackout Pack. While much of this information has been posted on the department’s website, this report consolidates that material and provides a broader context for WDFW’s management activities.

This report also fulfills a provision of the collaboratively developed current Wolf-Livestock Interaction Protocol (Protocol), which calls for the department to provide a final report to the public after using lethal removal to address livestock depredations.

The department’s actions were guided by the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan (Wolf Plan), adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2011 to provide a path toward recovery of the species. In 2017, WDFW in collaboration with the 18-member Wolf Advisory Group (WAG) developed a wolf-livestock interaction protocol to help guide the decision making process of proactively reducing the potential for recurrent wolf depredations on livestock while continuing to promote wolf recovery.

Both the Wolf Plan and the Protocol describe a management strategy for addressing wolf-livestock interactions primarily with nonlethal preventative measures in recognition that lethal removal of wolves may be necessary to address recurring depredations.