There are about 650 wolves in Idaho. To hear some tell, this “incredible” number is devastating the big game herds, menacing people, and driving farmers from their lands.

“How many do you want. When will the “wolf-lovers” ever be satisfied?”

I’m a friend of the wolf, and its prey. I’m a friend of the cougar too, and its prey (which is approximately the same as the wolf’s). Likewise with the bear.

It seems odd that no one ever asks how many cougar or bears are their in Idaho? Now we have an approxmimate answer. Idaho Fish and Game indicated they estimate 20,000 black bears and 1500-2000 cougar in Idaho. Oh, and each cougar eats more than a wolf.

Sometimes there’s nothing like relative numbers, rather than absolute numbers to bring controversies into perspective. You can bet the anti-wolf crowd will do nothing to put the number of wolves into perspective. It’s up to you to do it.

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

4 Responses to Is 650 wolves in Idaho a lot, or not?

  1. avatar Dave Collins says:

    Well as I see it there wasnt any big bad bear stories or killer cougar tales, only the big bad wolf. Sounds like people need to seperate fact from fiction. Are peoples peception of reality base on these old tales. Should we just kill everything that we cant control or thats scars us. Where does it end?

  2. avatar Overlander says:

    Back in the early 90s, people were fussing about cougars in Idaho. I’m not sure wolf haters will concede that they’ve weakened their case against wolves by not hating cougars enough. Seems like there’s been plenty of fear-mongering about cats.

  3. avatar Howard says:

    Have any biologists made estimates on Idaho’s carrying capacity for wolves? I believe that biologists in Colorado estimated that that state could support 1,000 wolves a few years back.

  4. avatar Monty says:

    I wish someone would ask the more important question: what is Idaho”s human “carrying capacity”? Of course, this question will never be asked as this subject is wrapped in the flag of inalienable rights, religion, pro eternal growth beliefs and the perception of super abundance and inexhaustiblity.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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