Wildlife biologists estimated Idaho’s 2009 wolf population at a minimum of 843 animals in a status report released Friday.
The figure remained nearly unchanged from the 2008 minimum estimate of 856 wolves, despite the state’s first-ever public wolf hunt.
Idaho has 94 documented wolf packs, occupying territories from the Canadian border south to Interstate 84. Another 20 border packs roam across territories that straddle boundaries with Washington, Montana and Wyoming.
Wolves were reintroduced into central Idaho in the mid-1990s. The current packs include descendants of those animals and wolves that wandered into the state from other places, including Canada.
Biologists confirmed that 65 of Idaho’s wolf packs reproduced last year. Those packs are believed to have produced about 204 pups.
State officials also confirmed 275 wolf deaths in Idaho last year. Mortality rates included 135 wolves killed by hunters; 94 wolves killed because they preyed on livestock; 24 wolf deaths attributed to other human causes, including poaching; and 24 wolf deaths from unknown causes.
Other highlights of the “Wolf Conservation and Management Progress Report” are available at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/wolves/manage/.
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