Category: Non-Game Management and Conservation
Published: December 15, 2017
This report describes the management actions taken by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW or Department) to address recurrent livestock depredations attributed to members of the Sherman Wolf pack. While much of this information has been posted on the Department's website, this report consolidates that material and provides additional context for the Department's management activities.
This report also fulfills a provision of the collaboratively developed 2017 Wolf-livestock interaction protocol (Protocol, Appendix A), which calls for the Department to provide a final report to the public after using lethal removal to address recurrent livestock depredations.
In all wolf management activities, WDFW's actions are guided by Washington's Wolf Conservation and Management Plan (Wolf Plan). The Wolf Plan adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2011, provides a guidance toward recovery and management of wolves in the state during recovery. In 2017, WDFW developed a wolf-livestock interaction protocol in collaboration with the 18-member Wolf Advisory Group (WAG) to help guide management decisions relating to wolf-livestock interactions. This protocol was a continued refinement of the collaboratively developed protocol supported by the WAG in 2016.
Both the Wolf Plan and the 2017 Protocol prescribe a management strategy for addressing wolf-livestock interactions primarily through proactive non-lethal measures, with the recognition that in rare cases, incremental lethal removal of depredating wolves may be necessary to address recurrent depredations.