WA biologists capture two wolves. “Washington state Fish and Wildlife biologists and wolf experts from Idaho captured what they believe are two wolves Friday in western Okanogan County, a development that could confirm the first wolf pack in Washington since the animals were eradicated decades ago.” By Shannon Dininny.  Associated Press Writer.

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More great news! What appear to be native wolves are now confirmed in Washington state. DNA testing is being done, but it is unlikely there are hybrids. One wolf is lactating. These animals are not near by the Idaho border, but in north central Washington state.

 
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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.

2 Responses to Washington wolves are confirmed. Two are captured

  1. avatar Howard says:

    Great news in Washington. For a long time, wolves (like grizzlies) occasionally made an appearance in the Cascades, but were believed to be wanderers from Canada, as no indication of any breeding resident population had been found…until now perhaps. It reminds me of NW Montana when the first reproduction by wolves in that state in decades was confirmed in Glacier NP (1986, I think?). Like the NW Montana wolves, they are probably migrants from Canada (not part of the non-essential experimental population). What is the major prey base in the Okanagan/Cascades area? I believe it is mainly black-tailed deer (and mountain goats, but I suspect they are too difficult for wolves to catch to be a “mainstay” of their diet); and that moose are naturally absent, caribou are extirpated, and elk are naturally uncommon. Is this the case? Does anyone know how numerous black tail deer are in that area? My impression of the region is that it is fantastic for wolves in terms of remoteness/distance from humans, and adequate, but not great, in terms of food resources…enough to support a population, just not a very big one. I would be very interested to see the comparisons in pack size, hunting behavior, etc. between gray wolves hunting mainly elk in relatively open country and those hunting mainly deer in heavily forested country. If anyone knows more about this region and its potential for wolves, please let me know.

    By the way, was a feasibility study of reintroducing wolves to Olympic NP ever completed? I recall talk of that years ago.

  2. Nice post, Howard!

    I do know that Defenders did a feasibility study on Olympic NP. I saw the presentation . . . not enough prey in the area for a sustainable wolf population.

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