On Sept. 25, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) lethally removed an adult female member of the Grouse Flats wolf pack. The wolf removed is believed to be the breeding female. This pack has repeatedly preyed on cattle on grazing lands in southeast Washington.
WDFW Director Kelly Susewind authorized incremental removal of wolves from the Grouse Flats pack on Sept. 24 after WDFW staff confirmed four livestock depredations by the pack in approximately two months. The pack has been involved in seven depredations since Aug. 23, 2018.
WDFW’s approach to incremental removal consists of a period of active operations followed by an evaluation period to determine if those actions changed the pack’s behavior (for example by disrupting the overlap of wolves and livestock, or reducing the caloric intake needs for the pack). The department has now entered an evaluation period.
If WDFW documents another livestock depredation and confirms that it likely occurred after the action on Sept. 25, the department may initiate another lethal removal action following the guidelines of the Wolf Plan and 2017 wolf-livestock interaction protocol.
2019 Grouse Flats pack updates
WDFW will provide a final report on this and any other lethal removal operations during 2019 in the Washington Gray Wolf Conservation and Management 2019 Annual Report, which will be published during spring 2020.
A summary of all documented depredation activity within the past 10 months is included in every monthly wolf update.