Monthly Wolf Report - June 2019

Publish date

This update provides an overview of gray wolf conservation and management activities in Washington during June 2019.

Program updates

WDFW will begin a public engagement process in August that will propose the development of a post-recovery wolf conservation and management plan. The evaluation of wolf translocation will be incorporated into this process. Wolves are currently listed as a state endangered species in Washington. The post-recovery planning process is being initiated proactively because WDFW anticipates it will likely take two to three years to complete. The post-recovery plan will guide WDFW in long-term wolf conservation and management, and will evaluate various wolf management tools, including translocation. WDFW will announce the public scoping for the post-recovery plan and associated public meetings in August.

Communication and coordination

The Wolf Advisory Group (WAG) met in Ellensburg on June 27 and 28 to review and discuss final changes to the 2019 update of the wolf-livestock interaction protocol. Notes from the meeting are available on the WAG webpage.

Earlier in 2019, WDFW initiated a new working group comprised of WDFW staff and external stakeholders to re-evaluate the wolf location data-sharing process administered by the department. The intent of the group is to find collaborative solutions that help livestock producers living in wolf country understand the location of wolf packs to prevent wolf-livestock conflict where wolves and livestock overlap. The group held its first in-person meeting at the Region 1 office in Spokane. WDFW staff members provided a demonstration of how to view the data, how to change the transparency of layers, and what the data means. The committee came up with five different draft options on ways to illustrate and share the data. These options were discussed with the Wolf Advisory Group and the Wolf Committee of the Fish and Wildlife Commission. Committee members have been checking in with their respective stakeholder and community groups and will share what they learned at the next in-person meeting.

Until a data sharing solution is developed and approved, the status quo (Option 1) will be maintained.

Data sharing element

Option 1

Option 2

Options 3

Option 4

Option 5

Standard map feature

  • Points
  • Activity areas (KDE)
  • Sections (PLS)
  • Points
  • Activity areas (KDE)
  • Sections (PLS)
  • Points
  • Activity areas (KDE)
  • Sections (PLS)
  • Points
  • Activity areas (KDE)
  • Sections (PLS)
  • Activity areas (KDE) with user friendly settings and pattern rather than shading (to see map underneath)
  • Sections (PLS) by choice if want on
  • Turn on points on 1st depredation

Blackout period

April 1 to July 15

None

April 1 to July 15

  • April 1 to July 15
  • No blackout for packs not denning
  • No blackout for packs with depredation w/in last 10 mo.
  • April 1 to July 15
  • Blackout period ends when wolves leave den area
  • No blackout for packs not denning
  • No blackout for packs with depredations w/in last 10 mo.

Den site notification

Status quo – Outreach to producers with known dens/rendezvous sites

Status quo - Outreach to producers with known dens/rendezvous sites

Enhanced outreach by WDFW staff to producers and range riders with denning information (building a GIS “contacts” file)

 

  • Conflict specialist calls to producers with livestock near den site (status quo)
  • Conflict specialists record contacts with producers on checklist
  • Add a FS allotment layer to map and highlight allotments with a known den site

 

Data sharing agreement

Status quo

Status quo

 

 

Strengthen consequences for breaking contract

Other

 

 

 

 

Allow for some case by case exceptions - deal with as they arise

Current population status and proactive conflict mitigation

The year-end minimum population count for 2018 was at least 126 known wolves in 27 known packs including at least 15 breeding pairs. Annual wolf population surveys are conducted in the winter because wolf populations experience the least amount of natural fluctuation during this time. Counting the population at the end of each year allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year when the wolf population is most stable. The year-end minimum population count for 2019 will be released in April 2020.

Reports of remote camera images or videos, wolf tracks, or sightings from the public are extremely helpful in locating previously undocumented wolf activity and potential new packs on the landscape. Please take photos of wolves or wolf sign (use some way to measure the size of a track) and upload them to the wolf reporting page via the following link: https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/at-risk/species-recovery/gray-wolf/observations

Definitions: A “pack” is defined as two or more wolves traveling together in winter, and a “breeding pair” is defined as at least one adult male and one adult female wolf that raised at least two pups that survived until December 31. In any given year, the number of packs will always be greater than or equal to the number of breeding pairs. The known territories and more information for each pack can be viewed by clicking the pack name.

Beaver Creek pack

Wolf biologists captured and collared one adult female and one yearling female wolf on June 13.

Butte Creek pack

No activity to report.

Carpenter Ridge pack

No activity to report.

Diobsud Creek pack

No activity to report.

Dirty Shirt pack

 Wolf biologists captured and collared an adult female wolf on June 22.

Goodman Meadows pack

No activity to report.

Grouse Flats pack

No activity to report.

Huckleberry pack

A yearling female wolf was captured and collared.

Leadpoint pack

Wolf biologists scouted the Leadpoint pack territory and located wolf sign, but did not set traps due to an active logging operation in the area. We will continue to monitor wolf activity in this area for future opportunities. 

Lookout pack

An adult male wolf was captured and collared on June 1.

Loup Loup pack

No activity to report.

Naneum pack

A range rider has been working on a limited basis in the area and producers have not reported any wolf-livestock conflicts this month. Efforts to locate members of this pack have been unsuccessful so far and are ongoing.

Old Profanity Territory (OPT) pack

Wolf biologists captured and released a collared adult male from the OPT pack in the Togo pack territory on June 6. The collared wolf subsequently returned to the OPT pack area.

Salmo pack

No activity to report.

Sherman pack

No activity to report.

Smackout pack

No activity to report.

Stranger pack

No activity to report.

Strawberry pack

No activity to report.

Teanaway pack

A female wolf that had been collared as a member of the Teanaway pack in February 2015 as a yearling had subsequently dispersed outside Washington and was legally killed on June 3 near Douglas Lake in British Columbia, Canada.

An interaction between wolves and cattle occurred this month in the Teanaway pack territory. Cattle were found agitated after a wolf or wolves were documented in the area, but no contact occurred. No other known conflicts have been reported between these wolves and livestock. The producer was contacted on a regular basis when wolf data or field observations indicated a wolf has been near cattle grazing areas. Cattle have been restricted from a 1.5 mile radius of the known wolf den site.

Togo pack

Wolf biologists set traps and attempted to capture and collar wolves in the Togo pack this past month, but were unsuccessful in capturing any uncollared wolves. Biologists captured and released a collared adult male from the OPT pack in this territory area on June 6.

Touchet pack

No activity to report.

Tucannon pack

No activity to report.

Wedge pack

On June 12, WDFW staff investigated and confirmed a wolf depredation within the Wedge pack territory. For details, please see the update posted on June 17. Wolf biologists scouted the area, but were unable to find enough fresh sign to warrant deploying traps. We will continue to monitor this area for future opportunities to collar a wolf in this pack. 

Miscellaneous/lone wolves

Wolf biologists deployed cameras in areas south of I-90 near Quartz Mountain and the North and South Forks of Tanuem Creek. So far, no wolf sign has been documented in the area and no wolves have been detected on camera. 

Note: The Frosty, Nason, Nc’icn, and Whitestone pack territories are within the Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT) reservation and are managed under tribal authority. Information regarding these packs is proprietary and reported at the discretion of the CCT.

Mortalities

As stated above, a female wolf that had been collared as a member of the Teanaway pack in February 2015 as a yearling had subsequently dispersed outside Washington and was legally killed on June 3 near Douglas Lake in British Columbia, Canada.

Depredation Activity

Please report any suspected livestock depredations or the death or harassment of wolves to the WDFW Enforcement Hotline at 1-877-933-9847.

Below is a summary of packs with documented depredation activity within the past ten months (some packs have depredation history prior to the current ten-month window; this timeframe is considered based on guidance from the wolf-livestock interaction protocol).

Pack

Depredation date

Depredation type

Proactive non-lethals

Ten-month window

Agency lethal removal actions

Togo

9/7/18

Confirmed injury to calf, death later

Yes

7/7/19

Adult male lethally removed 9/2/18

 

10/26/18

Confirmed injury to calf

Yes

8/26/19

 

OPT

9/5/18

Confirmed injury to calf

Yes

7/5/19

 

 

9/5/18

Confirmed injury to calf

Yes

7/5/19

 

 

9/5/18

Confirmed kill to calf

Yes

7/5/19

 

 

9/6/18

Confirmed injury to calf

Yes

7/6/19

 

 

9/7/18

Confirmed injury to calf

Yes

7/7/19

 

 

9/11/18

Confirmed injury to calf

Yes

7/11/19

Juvenile lethally removed 9/16/18

 

9/17/18

Confirmed kill to cow

Yes

7/17/19

 

 

9/21/18

Confirmed injury to calf

Yes

7/21/19

 

 

9/21/18

Confirmed injury to calf

Yes

7/21/19

 

 

9/21/18

Confirmed injury to calf

Yes

7/21/19

 

 

9/21/18

Confirmed injury to calf

Yes

7/21/19

 

 

9/21/18

Confirmed injury to calf

Yes

7/21/19

Adult female lethally removed 9/28/18

 

10/5/18

Confirmed injury to calf, death later

Yes

8/5/19

 

 

10/7/18

Probable injury to calf

Yes

8/7/19

 

 

10/11/18

Confirmed injury to calf

Yes

8/11/19

 

 

10/23/18

Confirmed kill to calf

Yes

8/23/19

 

 

1/4/19

Confirmed kill to cow

No

N/A

 

 

1/4/19

Confirmed kill to calf

No

N/A

 

 

1/4/19

Confirmed kill to calf

No

N/A

 

Smackout

10/14/18

Confirmed kill to heifer

Yes

8/14/19

 

 

10/21/18

Confirmed kill to heifer

Yes

8/21/19

 

 

10/31/18

Confirmed kill to heifer

Yes

8/31/19

 

 

11/1/18

Confirmed kill to heifer

Yes

9/1/19

Adult male lethally removed 11/8/18

Single wolf

(Chiliwist area)

11/27/18

Confirmed kill to calf

No

9/27/19

 

Grouse Flats

9/2/18

Confirmed kill to calf

Yes

7/2/19

 

 

10/28/18

Confirmed injury to cow

Yes

8/28/19

 

Wedge

6/12/19

Confirmed kill to cow

Yes

4/12/20

 

Packs
Beaver Creek
Dirty Shirt
Grouse Flats
Huckleberry
Leadpoint
Lookout
Naneum
OPT
Smackout
Teanaway
Togo
Wedge