ENDANGERED SPECIES — State officers were unsuccessful this week as they attempted to trap and possibly kill up to four wolves in northern Stevens County — but they found the carcass of a gray wolf that had died of some other means.
The carcass reportedly was decomposed and cause of death could not be determined by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife staff.
The graphic above shows how far the Wedge Pack has ranged in the six weeks since the alpha male was trapped, radio-collared and released. WDFW officials say the pack's full summer-winter range is likely much greater. They also noted that aerial monitoring coupled with on the ground observation show the collared male can be miles away from other wolves in the pack.
“It's a misconception that a pack always runs together,” said Steve Pozzanghera, WDFW regional manager.
Read on in this post for today's late afternoon WDFW update on the effort to deal with Wedge Pack cattle depredations.
From the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
August 24, 2012
State wildlife specialists are continuing their on-site wolf management efforts in Northeast Washington, where they have spent the past week attempting to remove wolves from a pack that has persistently preyed on livestock in a remote area known as the Wedge.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) team did not kill any wolves during the week, but biologists reported finding the decomposed body of a young wolf within the Wedge pack’s range in northern Stevens County.
During a necropsy on Aug. 21, a WDFW wildlife veterinarian was unable to determine the cause of death because the carcass was too badly decomposed, said Nate Pamplin, director of the department’s wildlife program.
WDFW staff went to the Wedge, an area bordered by the Columbia and Kettle rivers and the Canadian border, last weekend after wildlife managers confirmed that wolves from the Wedge pack were involved in the recent injury of one calf and the death of another in the grazing allotment area of the Diamond M ranch near the Canadian border. The latest depredations brought to eight the total number of injured or dead livestock from the Diamond M ranch since July.