Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Montana wolf numbers in, but hunting impact remains unclear

At least 377 wolves were removed from the Montana population during the past 14 months by hunters, trappers, the federal government, landowners and others. Hunters took out 166 wolves, trappers caught 97, Wildlife Services — part of the federal Department of Agriculture — removed 113 “problem” wolves for depredation and ranchers killed seven that preyed on livestock. Another 32 wolves died last year from a variety of causes, ranging from illegal kills to malnutrition to being hit by a vehicle. Some argue that drops the known, minimal population from 653 wolves in Montana to about 276. However, factoring in that the state has 39 known breeding packs, which could average about five pups per litter, the known population level could hover around 471...more

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