Wolf Control In Idaho Continues

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During August, wolves have injured one and killed four calves, one adult cow and several sheep, and in response three wolves have been killed, and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game has authorized the capture and removal of one pack and four other additional wolves.

When gray wolves were reintroduced in Idaho in 1995, federal officials pledged to control wolves that preyed on livestock. Control methods include monitoring to track locations, trapping and relocating or killing wolves that chronically prey on domestic livestock. Ranchers can also be compensated for livestock lost to confirmed wolf depredation.

Under federal rules changed in 2005 and an agreement between Idaho and the federal government signed in January, Idaho took over day-to-day management of wolves protected under the Endangered Species Act. That includes authorizing the lethal control to protect domestic livestock. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services carries out the control action at the request of and in consultation with Idaho Fish and Game.

During August, two calves were killed and another injured by a newly established wolf pack in the Danskin Ridge area near Mountain Home. Fish and Game and Wildlife Services decided to remove the entire pack in response to the depredations.

Wildlife Services also confirmed on August 7 and August 10 that wolves killed several sheep on Lava Ridge, northeast of McCall. The incident occurred on a Payette National Forest grazing allotment within the Hazard Lake Pack's territory, but officials don't know which wolves are responsible. Traps have been set, and after consulting with Fish and Game, Wildlife Services intends to collar and release the first wolf captured and kill one wolf.

On August 8, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves killed a calf on private land in Panther Creek, near Salmon. Traps have been set to catch and kill one un-collared wolf. Any pack members captured with functioning radio collars will be released. If caught, the wolf with a nonfunctioning collar will be released with a new collar.

Also on August 8, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves killed a calf on private land near Salmon. Traps have been set with the intention of killing one wolf.

On August 11, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves killed an adult cow on private land near Donnelly. The producer did not want trapping on his property. A shoot-on-sight permit was issued for one wolf.

On August 15, Wildlife Services captured and killed two un-collared, black, sub-adult female wolves from the Steel Mountain Pack near the Trinity Lakes area in the Boise National Forest. The control action was completed August 19 when Wildlife Service captured and killed one gray, sub-adult female wolf.

Wolf control actions are in no danger of jeopardizing wolf recovery in Idaho. To date, Wildlife Services has killed 17 wolves and ranchers have killed an additional nine wolves harassing or attacking their livestock as allowed under the 10j rule. In 2005, the wolf population in Idaho had grown to more than 500 in at least 59 packs and 36 breeding pairs. The Fish and Wildlife Service considers the wolf biologically recovered and is considering delisting gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains.