Latest Idaho wolf report is entirely short of site specific information-

There are some interesting figures on numbers of livestock and wolves killed . . . an unnecessary number of both in my opinion. It should also be noted 2 dead head of livestock, 7 wolves killed by Wildlife Services. Ralph Maughan

IDAHO WOLF MANAGEMENT

BI-WEEKLY PROGRESS REPORT

To: Idaho Fish and Game Staff and Cooperators

From: IDFG Wolf Program Coordinator, Steve Nadeau

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Management, Weeks of Dec. 5- Dec. 31, 2008.

Delisting: FWS – Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Status (WY, MT, ID):

For the time being, all wolves to the north of Interstate- 90 in Idaho remain listed as endangered. All wolves in the southern half of Montana, all portions of Idaho south of Interstate-90, and all of Wyoming are being managed under the 2005 and 2008 Endangered Species Act nonessential experimental population 10j regulations. The State of Idaho Department of Fish and Game is acting as the designated agent for the USFWS in implementing day-to-day management of wolves under the MOU between the Secretary of Interior and Governor of Idaho signed January 2006.

Delisting wolves and assuring their proper long-term management is and has been of highest priority for the state of Idaho and the Fish and Game Department. We continue to work along with the Department of Interior, Department of Justice, and other states and interveners toward the eventual delisting of wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains, and move toward state management under the State Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and the Wolf Population Management Plan.New on delisting – The USFWS is rewriting the rule based on comments and will resubmit a final delisting rule supposedly in early 2009. You may read the State of Idaho’s comments to the USFWS on the delisting rule at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/wolves/

You may review past wolf weekly publications on our wolf webpage and links along with all pertinent and updated wolf information and publications at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/wolves/

Monitoring

Aerial telemetry flights and end of year counts are ongoing. Snow conditions and time of year when pack members tend to congregate on winter range allow us to get quality pack sizes from the air. Due to typically poor weather conditions however, flying this time of year can be iffy. Final 2008 counts will be made by mid January and end- of- year population estimates will be completed by the end of the month and published by end of February.

Management

From January 1 – Dec. 31 agencies have documented 151 dead wolves in Idaho (these data are not finalized and still need to be corrected and cross referenced). Of those, 94 were depredation control actions by USDA Wildlife Services, 13 legal kills, 9 illegal kills, 4 natural kills, and 31 other/unknown.

From 1/1/08 – 12/31/08, WS (tentatively) confirmed that wolves killed:  16 cows, 1 steer, 87 calves, 215 sheep, 14 dogs, 1 foal; Injured:  1 cow, 7 calves, 6 sheep, 7 dogs; Probable killed:  6 cows, 22 calves, 57 sheep; Probable Injured:  1 cow, 3 calves, 1 sheep, 2 dogs.


Table 1. Confirmed wolf depredations and wolf mortality in Idaho from 2003 to Dec 31, 2008 (tentative).

YEAR

Depredations1

Wolf Mortality

Cattle

Sheep

Dogs

Total

WS2

10j3

Other

Total

2003

7

130

3

140

7

0

8

15

2004

19

176

4

199

17

0

21

38

2005

29

166

12

207

24

3

16

43

2006

41

237

4

282

35

7

19

61

2007

57

211

10

278

43

7

27

77

2008

104

215

14

333

94

13

44

151

Total

247

1133

47

1427

220

30

135

385

1 Includes confirmed depredations resulting in death or injury
2 Authorized take by Wildlife Services
3 Authorized take under 10j or while delisted for protection of stock and dogs


Control

During the reporting period of 12/4-12/31, WS documented 2 confirmed depredations on livestock.  WS confirmed that wolves killed 1 steer and 1 calf.  Both depredations occurred on private land.  In response to those and previous depredations, WS killed 7 wolves.  During the same date range in 2007, WS also documented 2 confirmed wolf depredations on livestock and killed 2 wolves.


Research

Nothing new to report.

Information and Education

Nothing new to report.

The Fish and Game Commission met on November 6 and discussed timelines and management direction for the Idaho Fish and Game wolf program now and following the proposed delisting in mid January. A short video on these discussions can be viewed at:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv24KW6mu7k

Further information and updates, including the directives provided by the commission can be viewed at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/wolves/

A reminder: wolves are protected under the endangered species act and killing one illegally is a federal offense.

Please help us manage wolves by reporting wolf sightings on our Fish and Game observation form found at:

http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/apps/wolf_report/

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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.

10 Responses to New Idaho bi-weekly wolf report

  1. avatar Buffaloed says:

    The IDFG put out this recently:
    Elk Survival Study Update Released

    http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/apps/releases/view.cfm?NewsID=4702

  2. Thanks Buffaloed.

    This link deserves a story because it is their “evidence” that wolves need to be reduced in the upper Clearwater/Lolo hunting area.

  3. avatar Layton says:

    So they (F$G) are lying —- right?? The wolves in the area really don’t affect the elk population — it’s all habitat — isn’t that the current party line??

  4. avatar JB says:

    Layton:

    Be ware of false dichotomies: it’s not ALL habitat, it’s mostly habitat. However, I would critique IDF&G for putting out this information without larger sample sizes. The margin of error on their their estimate for the Lolo area–which has the highest number of collared elk–is +/- 9 percentage points; for the calf estimate in the Lolo area it is +/- 13 percentage points. Their willingness to publish such estimates without at least noting the error is troubling.

  5. avatar Buffaloed says:

    I hear that the annual report is going to be full of the same useless information.

  6. avatar Buffaloed says:

    Also that the population numbers are up 8-9% just like last year rather than the 20% from previous years.

  7. avatar Layton says:

    “Also that the population numbers are up 8-9% just like last year rather than the 20% from previous years.”

    BUT, I’ll bet you take THAT number at face value —- right??

    Mainly because it goes along with what you want John Q. Public to believe.

  8. avatar Layton says:

    JB,

    Yes I am aware of the old “figures don’t lie, but liars sure figure” thing.

    I just get a kick out of the slanted type reporting/posting that goes on — like — “It should also be noted 2 dead head of livestock, 7 wolves killed “.

    The report ACTUALLY said “In response to those AND PREVIOUS DEPREDATIONS, WS killed 7 wolves. ” (The caps are mine) Funny how that happens.

  9. Layton,

    Idaho Fish and Game is giving no information as to where these depredations took place, when, which wolf pack, the period of time. They are telling nothing.

    When the feds were running the program and putting out the reports, they gave all this information. People may have not believed it perhaps, but they did name a pack, give dates, locations, etc.

    We are being kept in the dark, and something needs to be done about it.

  10. avatar Buffaloed says:

    Layton, I’ve already shown in a previous post that the ratio of wolves killed per livestock killed has nearly doubled this year compared to previous years. In fact the last time I posted this information the ratio this year was .30 now it is .32.

    There has been a policy change.

    Also, notice the 1439 total and compare it to the math on the chart above.

    I’m sorry the columns don’t line up, I can’t format the table here.

    Year Cattle Sheep Dogs Total WS 10j Other Total Number of wolves per domestic animal (only WS and 10j)
    2003 7 130 3 140 7 0 8 15 0.05
    2004 19 176 4 199 17 0 21 38 0.09
    2005 29 166 12 207 24 3 16 43 0.13
    2006 41 237 4 282 35 7 19 61 0.15
    2007 57 211 10 278 43 7 27 77 0.18
    2008 104 215 14 333 94 13 44 151 0.32
    Total 257 1135 47 1439 220 30 135 385 0.17

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Quote

‎"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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