Four wolves killed for livestock depredation. By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online! This was in Wyoming’s new all wolves are vermin zone.

So I think we are at 9 dead wolves in Wyoming’s kill at will zone. Scaling to population this is equivalent to about 38 dead wolves in Idaho (where there are more wolves).

Update 4-9-08: Wyoming Wolf kills reach at least 10. By Chris Merrill. Casper Star Tribune. It’s really more like 12.

 
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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.

25 Responses to 4 more dead wolves in Wyoming

  1. avatar Ron C. says:

    Actually it’s 11 dead Wolves. That’s hardly a significant amount and the 4 that were killed in the trophy zone would have been killed by WS anyways.
    Scaling to population? What the heck is that all about? lets use a more meaningful count such as 11 dead wolves in wyoming out of 500 or so.

    Like I said before hardly worth mentioning.
    Gee I thought they were all going to be wiped out?

  2. avatar Gerry Miner says:

    i count 12
    These 4, 2 on South Pass, 1 in calving pasture, 3 (including 253), 1 in Middle Piney Creek and 1 in Fisherman Creek. They are all on this website.

  3. avatar Davej says:

    Ralph,
    Linear scaling for comparsion of the number of wolves killed in WY to the equivalent number in Idaho might not reveal the true picture. If Wyoming’s population is closer to the minimum viable population, an individual wolf has more reproductive value than it would as a member of a larger population. Perhaps the wolves killed in WY so far would be comparable to 50 (or even 75) in Idaho???

    Dave J

  4. avatar Nathan says:

    Actually Ron C.

    At the present rate they would be headed 2 critical levels very quickly.
    From the information provided here we are looking at a rate of about one wolf killed every two days. so in one year from now at present rates we would have lost 182 animals. That is a huge rate of decline.

    The official reports are also not factoring in shoot and shovel practices that WILL still happen out there, and who knows how many have been shot up to ten days ago with the reporting time lag.

    So whats the big deal? there is obviously a very big deal.

  5. avatar SAP says:

    Nathan – that’s a good point about reporting efficiency.

    There could be some unreported kills out there, for sure, although the incentive to leave them unreported is a little abstract (eg., that a high rate of killing could lead to a legal defeat; that Wyoming’s reputation could suffer . . .) when weighed against the incentives to report kills (eg., it’s the law, the shooter gets social approval, the shooter sticks his thumb in the wolf-lovers’ eyes).

    I can’t imagine the rate of killing remaining this high, because I assume the wolves whose locations are known and who are easiest to get to are being killed first. Those would also likely be un-wary wolves — lack of wariness would go along with them being in places frequented by people and being predictable and visible. And surviving pack members most likely will wise up when their cohorts get clipped.

    The wild card right now is snowpack — if conditions remain favorable for snowmobile travel, then shooters can cover a lot more ground in search of tracks, or they can get aerial reports of tracks and then head out on snowmobiles. That gives them a huge advantage even over wary wolves in remote places.

  6. avatar Catbestland says:

    I can see them not reporting wolf kills in order to keep them from being relisted if the numbers drop too fast.

    Also, how big can a coyote get? I live in southern Colorado at 8000 ft in an isolated area, and I have seen many coyotes but I have NEVER seen one as big as the animal I say yesterday. It was the color of a coyote but it was HUGE. Is it possible, could it be some kind of wolf/coyote hibrid? I have a large rottwieler and it was taller than that.

  7. Wyoming’s elk feedgrounds are like wolf bait stations. As long as the elk are there, shooter will have probably have good success. It remains unusually cold.

    The elk are getting foot rot at the feedgrounds, so wolves are very attracted.

  8. avatar Rick Hammel says:

    Cat,

    I have seen coyotes in NW Colorado (near the WY-UT border) That are pretty huge. One, of which I got a few photos of, caused be to stop and look at the playback to be sure it was not a wolf. The ears were too long as was the nose. This was not the first coyote that caused me to do a double take in this area. Sort of like the mulie on Cold Springs Mountain that was doing a very good impression of a small elk!

    Rick

  9. avatar Save bears says:

    Wyoming has more than enough animals in the trophy zone to maintain the required number of wolves, and they will manage that small part of the state to ensure that wolves are not listed again, there plan has always been set up to get rid of wolves in all of the state with the exception of the trophy are….unfortunately, that is what happens when you have a double standard state plan, they were not stupid in setting up their plan, they KNEW from the get go, that they could kill every single wolf outside the trophy zone with no ramifications..the plans don’t say, WHERE they are required to be, just that there is a certain number required….

  10. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    The Casper Star Tribune is reporting that these kills happened just south of the boundary line between the trophy game zone and the predatory animal zone, that is, inside the predator zone. So technically speaking, these deaths don’t count against the pack ceiling state law imposes and which the FWS has so nonchalantly accepted. In a sense, it doesn’t matter, as no doubt G&F will start taking out wolves on the feedgrounds inside the trophy game zone.

  11. avatar vicki says:

    Cat,
    I’ve seen some pretty huge coyotes here in my neck of Colorado too.
    Has anyone read reports recently that show genetics of wolves n=back east? I guess the report said wolves they tested show that they have some coyote inbreeding.
    As far as the numbers or wolves dead in Wyoming to date, atthis pace, how long will it be before they reach the minimum number required to sustain under their plan in Wyoming?

  12. avatar vicki says:

    Cat,
    Try this page…
    http://www.wildlifetech.com/pages/necoyote.htm
    It some some interesting info. It makes me wonder how the inbreeding came about, and if it will happen here.

  13. avatar Layton says:

    I’m really curious about this.

    If only the Alpha pair of a pack of wolves does the breeding — how do wolves get crossed with coyotes??

    Is it possible that half of the “alpha” pair really a precocious coyote or does this mean that loner wolves get horny like most dogs do or is there a bit of “legend” working here??

    Layton

  14. avatar vicki says:

    Layton,
    Read the above link. It talks about a wolf which may have evolved differently. It really was interesting to read.(To me anyhow.)
    But if you are curious about horny wolves, sorry bud, I’m probably too G-rated to help you find that link.
    The link is about a genetic study of wolves/coyotes in New Brunswick. They also talk about Red Wolves, and how each is genetically similar or different.
    The coyotes there out weigh the average coyote by about 40 lbs. They also prey mostly on deer as opposed to rodents or very small mammals. It would be easy to see why people would wonder about an 80 lb coyote, or if it were a wolf.

  15. Jay Way has posted a lot about these big NE coyotes here on this blog.

    Folks should read his book, Suburban Howls.

    Yes, the NE coyotes are a certain per cent wolf, but it is canis lycaon, as they are now calling the Eastern timber wolf, not canis lupis.

    I was thinking about this new mix, and one might argue that it is the most fit (in a Darwinian sense) large canine in the NE, given the current ecology there (except where there are moose).

  16. avatar vicki says:

    Thanks Ralph,
    I wish we could get some of these reads on disc, or on-line. It would sure same some trees. I’m becoming a frequent flyer favorite at my local books store.
    I would also wonder about the evolution factor. Obviously they are all canid descendants, maybe this will help to pin point the time frame when they became more notabley different.
    I think it explains a lot, as it pertains to their size. 80-90 lb coyotes would obviously need to eat a lot more than a prairie dog to sustain itself. I also wonder about terrain. Would a more rugged terrain likely result in a smaller coyote or wolf? Or larger? It is fascinating.
    Perhaps the size also allows them to be more competative with wolves?
    I will read up. Thanks again.

  17. avatar vicki says:

    ANY NEWS FROM CHICO?

  18. avatar John Glowa says:

    Eastern coyotes have now been shown to consist of varying percentages of coyote, eastern wolf and gray wolf. Recent DNA testing of wolves killed in Maine in the 1990’s showed these animals to be roughly 65% gray wolf, 30% eastern wolf and 5% coyotes. The larger canids being killed here in the northeast (>80 lbs.) are proving to be mainly gray wolf.

  19. avatar drew says:

    Ralph,
    I hope you don’t mind me posting this link. Just heard this today about pet dogs killed by wolves near the cave falls road east of Ashton.
    http://www.kidk.com/news/local/17441814.html

  20. avatar Dave J says:

    Cat,

    How far south in Colorado are you?

    Dave

  21. avatar Frank says:

    Ralph,
    Here (S/W N.M.) we seem to have to very diffrent sorts of coyote. Your basic little desert dog down on the flats and in the Gila a much larger version, refered to as the “mountian coyote” locally. Some months back, while chousin’ wild cows in the southern Gila I sppotted one at about 100 yds. The size at first glance made me think it was a wolf. He had good size but was colored all wrong. I gave a wistle and got him looking at me. It was those ears that cinched it. coyote. He seemed not very bothered by me so I took a poke in his direction and off he went. Note; I didnt shoot him, I just wanted him nervous around humans. Then I mashed the trigger again. As fast as he was running, he still had another gear in the box! last I saw of him he was still goin’ .

    Hmmm. I know it is very hard to determine the size of a coyote unless it is standing by something of known size. Ralph

  22. avatar Catbestland says:

    Dave,

    I am south of Montrose, near Ridgeway. On the Uncompahgre Plateau.

  23. avatar Catbestland says:

    I had the most beautiful bobcat hanging out in my yard this morning. He wasn’t in any kind of hurry either. He poked around for a little while and then moved on. We got about 8 inches of snow last night so he really stood out in it.

  24. avatar vicki says:

    Cat,
    How fortunate that you got to see that! Wow. I have been trying to get a photo of a bobcat for so long.

  25. avatar morgan grubb says:

    Wolf,

    I fill really bad that 4 wolves got killed because Im studing about wolves right now.

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