On July 27, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) lethally removed an adult, non-breeding female member of the Wedge wolf pack. This pack has repeatedly preyed on cattle on public and private grazing lands in Stevens County.
WDFW Director Kelly Susewind authorized the removal of a wolf from the Wedge pack on July 23 after WDFW staff confirmed five depredation incidents within the previous 30 days. WDFW staff confirmed two additional depredations two days after Director Susewind’s authorization, prior to today’s lethal removal of the Wedge wolf, bringing the total number of documented depredations to 11 incidents resulting in three dead livestock and 11 injured livestock since May 11, 2020.
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 the pattern of repeated depredation). The department has now entered an evaluation period.
If WDFW documents another livestock depredation and confirms that it likely occurred after the action on July 27, the department may initiate another lethal removal action following the guidelines of the Wolf Plan and 2017 wolf-livestock interaction protocol.
2020 Wedge pack updates
A summary of all documented depredation activity within the past 10 months is included in every monthly wolf update.