Number of wolves continues to grow in NE Washington-

The number of wolves in Washington State is still small.  However, two new wolves were just added to the list in NE Washington. There, the Colville Indian Tribal Wolf Team captured and radio collared two relatively small yearling wolves in the Reservation’s backcountry.  They were a male and a female.

Because this is near Idaho and the B.C. border, the wolves might be part of a new local pack that originated from wolves in B.C. or the Idaho Panhandle.  Reports are the wolves are the first known on the Reservation in a hundred years.

All told in NE Washington there are 3 wolf packs and 3 more suspected packs in addition to wherever these two yearlings came from.  Three of these confirmed or suspected packs are thought to be cross-border (B.C. or Idaho) packs.  There are two confirmed packs in central Washington (Cascade Mountains) and one suspected pack in SW Washington.  No data has been released on the pups born this April.

Carter Niemeyer helped the tribal team locate and catch the two approximately 70 pound wolves with a leg hold trip.  They were released unharmed.

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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.

14 Responses to Two wolves captured and collared on Colville Reservation, NE Washington

  1. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    It is always encouraging to read good news. Thanks to the Colville Tribe and Carter Niemeyer for their help.

  2. avatar WM says:

    The jury is still out on how well wolves will be received on the Colville Reservation as they increase in number. If they interfere with tribal elk/deer subsistence hunting OR start killing tribal member stock, the issues and solutions are likely to be very much the same as they are elsewhere.

    The general substance of this comment is attributed to the tribal wildlife director, a tribal member himself, Joe Peone.

    • avatar DLB says:

      There was a moderate tone to that comment he made. I can’t remember previous comments he has made word for word, but I believe that this new comment has a slightly more diplomatic note to it. Maybe there really are some tribal members more supportive of wolves than others?

  3. avatar Paul says:

    I will be really interested to see if they can truly determine the point of dispersion of these wolves. Being from Seattle, it seems to me that this area is better connected to the N Cascades than the NW Washington Rockies. The leap from the Methow, Okanagan, to the Sanpoil seems easier than from the east. It will be a great habitat connectivity story regardless of origin.

    • avatar bret says:

      It seems a dispersing female from the Teanaway pack went on a 500 mi. journey and was killed 70 mi. North of Kootenay lake in BC

      they do get around

  4. avatar wolverinedreams says:

    Bret – not heard about that. Where did you see that? I am familiar with the folks monitoring that pack, and that would be an interesting development.

      • avatar WM says:

        From the article:

        ++However, its roughly 500-mile journey came to an abrupt end around May 21.

        Pozzanghera [WDFW spokesman] says it was shot and killed in the pig sty of a local farmer. He says its carcass was turned over to a trapper — working in the area after complaints from the farmer — who in turn provided it to the BC Ministry of Environment which called WDFW.++

        One has to wonder if this gets counted in the WA predation statistics, since that is how a once-resident wolf died, but in Canada. Or, is that another “exception” that will not properly account for a “problem wolf?” Maybe it will show up in a report as a properly worded footnote.

        • avatar JB says:

          One might also wonder if it will show up in the mortality statistics. Will they note that this wolf was shot and killed by humans, or will they count it as a dispersal into another state/province? Perhaps a footnote?

          It’s great to be skeptical, but skepticism should be equally applied.

          • avatar WM says:

            I am merely looking for objectivity.

            Because this Teanaway disperser originated with that pack, it will no doubt be identified by WDFW as an out-migration collared animal in the state progress reports that they tracked until its death. Beyond that, who knows how it will be treated (footnote?). But, in truth and in the interests of full disclosure, it was legally killed by a human in BC, in the act of depredation on livestock. Is it at that point a Canadian “problem wolf” or still a WA problem wolf? Query whether this pig farmer could make a claim under the WA livestock reimbursement program? Not likely, but had he been this side of the border farming in WA, yes. All I am hoping for is objective statistics, telling the full story. Am I skeptical of the Olympia based WDFW staffers, the same arrogant crew that prepared this seemingly optimistic (naive) Plan for the Commission from start to present, with essential parts apparently unfunded? You bet.

            I am waiting for the novel, but apparently essential, intra-state translocation provisions to kick in, if wolf density gets too high in any area or to minimize developing “problem wolf” episodes, and to speculating where they would choose to relocate some (my guess first off would be the St. Helens and Mt. Adams/Yakima areas, or maybe the SE part of the state for a little genetic mixing with wolves coming in from ID).

            And, to be fair, I think these techniques should be tried to determine how successful they might be for re-population efforts, in WA and elsewhere.

            • avatar DLB says:

              WM,

              You blast the WA wolf plan every chance you get. I agree that there are most likely some flaws that will have to be dealth with down the road, but you offer few clues as to how you would see it changed.

              You have the background to offer useful advice on issues like this. Out of curiosity, did you reach out to the WDFW via email, phone, or in-person voice your opinion about the plan or offer alternative solutions?

            • avatar JB says:

              WM:

              Fair enough. By the way, I too am curious what you find objectionable in the WA wolf management plan? Frankly, I haven’t had the time to look at WA or OR’s plans, though I’m all to familiar with the wolf minimization plans (or prevention, in the case of Utah) of their neighbors.

  5. avatar WM says:

    It is doubtful this insane proposal will go anywhere, but for certain the cattle folks in Eastern WA are not taking more wolves on the landscape very passively or gracefully. Kittitas County is Ellensburg, and includes the area of the Teanaway Pack. They see changes to the state wolf plan with by regional delisting and hunting. WTF?

    http://www.dailyrecordnews.com/news/support-sought-for-wolf-delisting-authority/article_5d7c09f8-b572-11e1-905d-0019bb2963f4.html

  6. avatar eloise says:

    Something I’ve been wanting to know: when they attach a radio collar to a yearling, how do they know how large the adult wolf neck will be? Are they ever tight enough to strangle an adult wolf?

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