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Montana’s wolf population remains strong

FILE - This image provided by the National Park Service shows a gray wolf in the wild. The 2017 Montana Gray Wolf Program’s annual report found that there are about 900 wolves in the state. According to a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks news release, the most recent surveys estimate there were 961 wolves in 2015 and 851 in 2016. (AP/National Park Service)
FILE - This image provided by the National Park Service shows a gray wolf in the wild. The 2017 Montana Gray Wolf Program’s annual report found that there are about 900 wolves in the state. According to a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks news release, the most recent surveys estimate there were 961 wolves in 2015 and 851 in 2016. (AP/National Park Service)

The 2017 Montana Gray Wolf Program’s annual report found that there are about 900 wolves in the state. According to a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks news release, the most recent surveys estimate there were 961 wolves in 2015 and 851 in 2016.

Montana’s wolf population has stayed relatively stable, the release states. About 225 wolves are harvested per year. During the 2017-2018 wolf season, 255 wolves were harvested: 65 percent from hunting and 35 percent from trapping. Approximately $380,000 was generated for wolf conservation and management by wolf license sales, according to the news release.

Livestock depredation by wolves during 2017 was approximately 25 percent of what it was in 2009, when it was at a peak. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services confirmed 80 livestock losses to wolves in 2017, which included 49 cattle, 12 sheep and 19 goats during 2017. One dog was also killed by wolves. This total was up compared to 53 livestock losses during 2016. During 2017, the Montana Livestock Loss Board paid $64,133 for livestock Wildlife Services confirmed as probable or certain wolf kills.

To learn more visit fwp.mt.gov. The 2017 Montana Gray Wolf Program Annual Report is available at: http://fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/management/wolf/.


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