ID, MT Move To Curb Wolf Populations

Even as the Northern Rockies awaits word from a Federal judge in Missoula on whether wolves in the region will be relisted under the Endangered Species Act, given day-to-day control over the species in their states last year, Idaho and Montana officials recently liberalized lethal controls in hopes of reducing pack numbers.

The Spokane Spokesman-Review today reports:

Trapping wolves will be allowed in Idaho, and hunters can use electronic calls to attract the elusive predators, Idaho wildlife officials decided … Montana wildlife regulators on Thursday set their state’s wolf-hunt quota at 186, more than doubling last year’s quota, with the aim of reducing the state’s wolf population for the first time since they were reintroduced to the Northern Rockies in 1995.

At the end of 2009, an estimated 1,700 wolves lived in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and eastern parts of Washington and Oregon. About half roam Idaho where packs were introduced in the mid-1990s, though it’s likely some have also filtered in from northwest Montana and Canada on their own.

Wolves in Oregon have been in the news of late after ODFW granted ranchers permits to kill livestock-killers in Wallowa County. In Washington, it’s anticipated that more packs will be discovered this summer.

Hunters have been up in arms about wolves, pointing to sharply declining elk herds in some areas. One rabid anti-wolfer even went so far on his blog to point out that a certain sweetener was deadly to the animals.

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