WILDLIFE — The annual year-end survey of the Washington’s five confirmed wolf packs has documented three successful breeding pairs and a total of at least 27 wolves, the state Fish and Wildlife Department says in a media release posted today.
Click here for details on the packs and summaries of the 2011 survey.
The tally, conducted through field work and aerial monitoring, found two of the successful breeding pairs in the Eastern Washington wolf-recovery region and one in the North Cascades recovery region. A successful wolf breeding pair is defined as an adult male and female with at least two pups that survive until the end of the calendar year.
Evidence of unconfirmed packs was noted in the Blue Mountains of southeastern Washington and at Hozomeen in the North Cascades, as well as transient single wolves, according to Rocky Beach, WDFW’s wildlife diversity program manager.
“We will continue to follow up on all reports of possible wolf sightings,” Beach said. “We will be working again this spring and summer to confirm new packs and pups and to capture and fit additional wolves with radio
Under the recently adopted Washington wolf conservation and management plan, wolves will be removed from the state’s endangered species list once 15 successful breeding pairs are documented for three consecutive years among three wolf-recovery regions (four pairs in Eastern Washington, four pairs in North Cascades, four pairs in South Cascades/Northwest Coast, and three pairs in any recovery region).
The gray wolf (Canis lupus) currently is protected by the state as an endangered species throughout Washington and is federally listed as endangered in the western two-thirds of the state.
Read on for more details from the December wolf survey:
Last month’s survey work yielded these details about Washington’s five confirmed wolf packs:
Report possible wolf sightings: (877) 933-9847.