ENDANGERED SPECIES -- A reward of up to $7,500 is being offered for help solving the case of a gray wolf found on Feb. 9 shot to death in northern Stevens County.
Wolves are protected in Washington by state endangered species laws.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife veterinarian confirmed this week that the wolf died from gunshot wounds, Dan Rahn, regional enforcement supervisor said today.
Western Washington-based Conservation Northwest put up the reward for information leading to the conviction of the poacher, he said. The conservation group has helped promote range riders to protect livestock from wolves in northeastern Washington, where most of the state's growing wolf population is found.
The reward is set to be officially announced later this afternoon.
WDFW officials queried could not remember a reward of that size ever being offered for an Eastern Washington wildlife poaching case.
The female wolf had been monitored by state biologists since February 2013, when it was caught and fitted with a GPS collar.
It was a member of the Smackout Pack that ranges in Stevens and Pend Oreille counties, but appeared to have been traveling alone since the pack broke up in April, said Donny Martorello, department carnivore manager.
The collar on this female wolf and two male wolves also were designed to trigger the wolf-scaring sounds and lights of Radio-Activated Guard boxes stationed near livestock grazing areas in the program supported by Conservation Northwest, said the group's spokeswoman Jasmine Minbashian.
Roughly 100 wolves roam portions of Eastern Washington.
Tips on the case can be reported to:
- The department’s Spokane office, (509) 892-1001.
- The state’s poaching tip line, (877) 933-9847.
- The agency website.