Posts tagged: livestock grazing
ENDANGERED SPECIES — While state and federal officials have killed at least 74 wolves related to livestock attacks in Montana this year, killing wolves is new in Washington.
After six wolves in the cattle-attacking Wedge Pack were eliminated in northern Stevens County last week, Washington legislators are suddenly waking up to the issue that 's been simmering for years.
And, of course, the first comments are shrill.
See the NBC News report.
See the KING 5 TV News report.
ENDANGERED SPECIES — “We don't know that we got them all, but we couldn't find any more,” said Dave Ware, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department Game Division manager, explaining the agency's decision today to wrap up its mission to eliminate the Wedge Pack of wolves that have been preying on cattle in northern Stevens County.
The sixth wolf in three days was killed this morning by an agency sharpshooter in a helicopter just south of the U.S.-Canada border in the “wedge” area between the Columbia and Kettle rivers. The wolf killed today was the alpha male, who'd was wearing a GPS collar and was easy to locate. Also killed this week was the breeding female and four other adult wolves
A young female wolf from the pack had been killed by a state marksman on Aug. 7.
The one pup from the pack's 2012 litter that had been trapped and tagged was found dead of undetermined causes last month
The KING 5 TV video above shows the alpha male and the pup during their capture and release earlier this summer.
That totals 8 wolves, but doesn't explain the whereabouts of several other pups thought to have been born this year.
“The pups do a lot of howling when they're weaned, but we didn't near the howling earlier this summer, so we don't know what happened,” Ware said.
“Could there be other wolves out there? Yes. We'll be monitoring. If we found one in the near future, we'd have to think about what to do. The ones we've found in the past few days have all been adults. So we've accomplish the objective and disrupted the pack. If we see something soon, we'll deal with it.
“But if we get tracks or howling a couple of months from now, it may not be a member of this pack. It could be more wolves dispersing from Canada. We'd approach that case differently. Wolves are going to come back to the wedge sooner or later. It's good habitat.”
The Diamond M Ranch, which had at least 17 cattle attacked or killed this summer on public and private land, is pulling the cattle out of the area, but the ranchers told Ware that some of the livestock can't be rounded up in the rugged forest. All of the cattle don't come in until the snow flies.
ENDANGERED SPECIES — Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials say a helicopter gunner killed the alpha male of a cattle-preying wolf pack today, concluding the mission to eliminate the Wedge Pack in northern Stevens County.
The wolf was shot just south of the U.S.-Canada border in the third day of aerial shooting that claimed six wolves, agency director Phil Anderson said in a media release. The alpha male has been wearing a GPS since early summer, when it was caught and released by a state wolf researcher.
The state has been following the GPS signals of the alpha male to locate the pack, which officials have been targeting for elimination since Saturday.
The pack's alpha female was killed earlier this week, Anderson said. A younger female wolf was shot by an agency staffer on Aug. 7 during the first lethal efforts to curb attacks on cattle that started in early July.
How do you know you have the entire pack, considering WDFW originally estimated the pack included at least eight animals? WDFW state wildlife manager responds.
A Spokesman-Review photographer has been attempting to get photos of the effort, but was told by agency staff on the scene that they could not include him in the activities or make any official comments. One staffer did say that none of them enjoyed what they were doing, but that they were doing their job.
“Directing the pack’s removal was a very difficult decision, both personally and professionally, but it was necessary to reset the stage for sustainable wolf recovery in this region,” Anderson said. “Now we will refocus our attention on working with livestock operators and conservation groups to aggressively promote the use of non-lethal tactics to avoid wolf-livestock conflict.”
With the latest operation concluded, Anderson said the department would continue to monitor wolf activity in the Wedge region as it is doing in other parts of the state. While some WDFW staff were working full time with the Wedge Pack for most of the summer, other staffers have been working to document wolf activity in Okanogan, Chelan and Kittitas Counties, the Blue Mountains and elsewhere in Northeast Washington.
Read on for more background and details.