Monthly Wolf Report -- February 2018

Publish date

This report provides information about wolf conservation and management activities undertaken by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) from Jan. 30 to Feb. 27, 2018.

Statewide Wolf Capture, Survey, and Management

Wolf biologists continued to conduct winter tracking surveys and telemetry flights to count wolves in each of the known wolf packs across northern and eastern Washington. These minimum counts of wolves for each pack will be available in the annual wolf report, which will be published in late March or early April.

Biologists also spent three days in a helicopter attempting to capture and collar additional wolves in several packs in northcentral and northeast Washington. During this operation, they were successful in capturing and recollaring one wolf in the Loup Loup pack and one in the Dirty Shirt pack, as well as collaring a new individual in the Carpenter Ridge pack.

Wolf biologists spent some time drafting the annual wolf report and wolf update presentations for upcoming meetings of WDFW’s Game Management Advisory Council and the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission. Those presentations will include information on the minimum counts of animals in each Washington wolf pack, records and costs for various management activities, counts of depredations, and wolf mortalities. Presenters will include WDFW biologists, conflict specialists, and other staff members from around the state.

Wolf packs in Okanogan County

Collar data indicates the Loup Loup pack is within its traditional territory.

Wolf packs in Kittitas County

Region 3 Wildlife Program and Enforcement personnel conducted several searches for new wolf activity in multiple areas of District 8.

Proactive Deterrence Measures

Wolf packs in Ferry, Stevens, and Pend Oreille counties

District wildlife conflict staff members continued to meet with livestock producers, WDFW-contracted range riders, NGOs, and a conservation resource management group to discuss upcoming plans for late spring and summer. They also discussed the upcoming wolf annual report, potential changes to the wolf collar data sharing program, and funding for deterrent actions. Additional meetings with producers, range riders, NGOs, and grazing allotment managers have been scheduled and will continue through the spring.

Conflict staff members also worked with WDFW wolf biologists regarding reported wolf sightings throughout the district.

Wolf packs in Kittitas County

Permit grazing livestock have been removed from the Teanaway pack territory for the winter season. No conflicts between wolves and livestock have been reported.

Depredation Investigations

Wolf packs in Ferry, Stevens, and Pend Oreille counties

On January 29, WDFW received a report of a sheep carcass in Stevens County. Staff members noted coyote, bobcat, raccoon, and raven activity near the scene. But due to the lack of soft tissue remaining on the sheep carcass, the cause of death was determined to be unconfirmed.

Outreach Activities

Okanogan County

Conflict staff members met with a livestock producer and a U.S. Forest Service biologist to discuss proactive deterrent measures, the data sharing program, and wolf management.

Packs referenced in this update