Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery 2008 Interagency Annual Report

All 3 states and the FWS reports available.

Wolves in Central Idaho © Ken Cole
Wolves in Central Idaho © Ken Cole

The annual reports of all three of the recovery states have been released. There is a wealth of information in these reports about various packs.

The minimum estimate of wolves in the three states is 1645, a 9% increase over last year.

In Idaho there are 846 wolves, a 16% increase.
In Montana there are 497 wolves, an 18% increase.
In Wyoming there are 302 wolves, a 16% decrease.

You can view the reports here:
Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery 2008 Interagency Annual Report


  1. davej Avatar

    What happened to the original definition of a pack which required pup survival to the end of the year? In this report they seem to include any two wolves travelling together. (See for exampe the pair they call “Deer Creek” in Wyoming -#114). Did the rules change with the last 10j?

    1. Jay Avatar

      You’re confusing the breeding pair definition with pack definition. A pack can be 2 wolves (I think Idaho still maintains a minimum of 4 is a pack), but it can’t be a breeding pair without two adults raising two pups to the end of the year.

    2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

      A breeding pair is still two wolves who raise at least 2 pups for the year.

      Despite a continuing, though declining, wolf population increase during 2008, I see the number of Idaho breeding pairs is now below the totals for 2007 and 2006.

      1. Jay Barr Avatar
        Jay Barr

        It might be getting more difficult for those monitoring to document reproduction; not necessarily that there really are fewer breeding pairs.

  2. Leslie Avatar

    Thank you Ralph for posting this. In looking at the stats for WY, I see the area listed under ‘control’ which I assume means ‘killed’, was my area of Sunlight Basin. The entire Crandall pack was wiped out it says there. 2 years ago we had a healthy pack of 12 wolves. Now it says 2 adults surviving and 2 pups. These losses could have been prevented as the calves killed were on Open Grazing early in the season right near a wolf den. The elk had not yet moved back high because of late snow, and the forest service changed where the grazing permits were in order just to consolidate two different cattle owners. It wasn’t thought out. It was all for convenience of the forest service grazing allotments.

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    One of the reasons “wolf depredations” have been increasing faster than the the wolf population has nothing to do with the so-called “good habitat” all being occupied. The Sunlight Basin is great habitat and was occupied by wolves a decade ago.

    The reason is that the wishes of livestock interests more and more come first — before that of every other wildlife — predators, prey, game and non-game. They come before the interests of hunters and anglers, hikers and climbers, loggers, campers, photographers — everyone except energy industries.

  4. Virginia Avatar

    Leslie – that makes me sick – we hiked up in that area of Sunlight Basin last year because we knew their den was in the area – we didn’t see them, but saw sign. How disgusting!

  5. Elkchaser Avatar

    As I was reading through the reports for all 3 states, one strange thing stood out to me. Wolves have proliferated all through the wilderness areas in Idaho and in YNP, but they don’t seem to be doing as well in the Bob Marshall. Seems odd. Although I have never been to the Bob, I know it is a huge isolated area where wolves would thrive?

  6. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    People have remarked about this off and on over the years. You are right, and it is a puzzle.

  7. Elkchaser Avatar

    Any theories or studies? I know it is very thick with grizzlies if that is a possibility.


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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Ken Cole