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The US Fish and Wildlife in collaboration with the state Wildlife Departments of the Northern Rockies as well as Native American Tribes and the Blackfeet Nation issued a very upbeat annual report.

If memory serves me this is the first year the entire area has been delisted for at least the second half of the year.

By every biological measure the NRM DPS wolf population is fully recovered. Resident packs have saturated suitable habitat in the core recovery areas and the population has exceeded recovery goals for 11 consecutive years.

For the first time since populations reached recovery goals 11 years ago populations declined. The decline while modest (7%) is thought to be a sign that states are able to successfully manage the species. (down to 1,674 individuals from the previous 1,796) Bear in mind population numbers are given as a minimum, actual numbers are of course higher, how much higher is conjecture.

(US Fish and Wildlife Director)Ashe noted that the Service fully anticipated state management would result in reduced populations, given the management goals established in each state’s wolf plan. Despite increased levels of take resulting from sport hunting and control efforts, the population has continued to thrive.
The original recovery plan had goals of an equitably distributed wolf population containing at least 300 wolves and 30 breeding pairs in three recovery areas within Montana, Idaho and Wyoming for at least three consecutive years. These totals were reached in 2002.

In the chart above yellow is Central Idaho, Purple is Greater Yellowstone, and blue is Northwest Montana. Look at 2002.

I'd expect populations to lower at a slightly increased rate as states and residents become more practiced at management and then slow down as they approach a yet undetermined goal still comfortably well above 300.

Total expenditure both feds, states, and tribal came to around 4 million.

I did another post recently on Science Self Correcting on Wolves

IUCN Canis Lupus

Originally posted to ban nock at DKos on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 06:23 AM PDT.

Also republished by Hunting and Fishing Kos and DK GreenRoots.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Interesting study out of Jackson Hole on cougar (11+ / 0-)

    wolf interaction claiming wolves have halved the mountain lion population in a dozen years, mostly by preying on kittens. Using night vision game cams and video equipment scientists have been able to observe the interactions of the two species and they document lots of mayhem without consumption.

    Bear in mind this was just one partial study of just one area. I'd think the people conducting the study would offer it up with many disclaimers and caveats.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 08:18:37 PM PDT

  •  We have a program in Michigan. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, exterris, HeyMikey

    It has been so successful, our TeaPots want to allow people to hunt them.  

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 06:46:40 AM PDT

    •  I would think your state department of Fish (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and Wildlife informs the decisions of your Wildlife Commission via reports from biologists. Most states have similar methods of deciding wildlife policy. Tea Party as an interest group for wildlife policy? I thought they were a "less taxes for rich people" type org?

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 06:54:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Michigan seems to have it figured out. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock, dkmich, exterris, HeyMikey

      Michigan is planning for a very conservative hunt in the UP in areas where wolf depredations on livestock are the most severe.

      It seems like a responsible way to manage wolves without falling into the two polarized camps - one that wants to eradicate wolves and the other that will make no allowances for management that includes hunting at all.

      I have no desire to hunt wolves and never will. That said wolf conservation suffers when local people feel that there is no mechanism available for dealing with problems that wolves cause. Managers need to be able to diffuse this antipathy.

      Problem is politicians are trying to do an end run around the  managers and the citizens (by legislatively negating a referendum).

  •  Still trying to spin the delisting I see. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, Jakkalbessie, exterris

    We'll keep working to to undo Salazar's fail.

    Wolves in the American West

    Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar promulgated the most regressive wolf policy in America since wolves’ restoration in the mid-1990s. Under Salazar the Interior Department systematically removed federal protections wherever gray wolves exist, including the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes states. Salazar took his policy dangerously further and before he left proposed to remove protections for wolves in places where they’ve yet to be recovered, including Colorado—the most important biological link in our continental vision of having wolves from Canada to Mexico. Take action here and send an email to your Congressional representative. Advocate to keep wolves protected under the Endangered Species Act.

    Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

    by divineorder on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 06:58:34 AM PDT

    •  no just updating those who maybe don't follow (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      closely. Annual reports from USFWS are a good source for unspun wildlife info.

      Though the Wildearth Guardians you linked to is well intentioned those of us to whom the idea of shooting wolves is distasteful would rather they directed their efforts in more productive directions. A lot more wolves are destroyed when populations are high and a much smaller number, if any, when populations are at desired levels. Inadvertently they've caused the destruction of many wolves.

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 09:46:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good news seems so meager. (0+ / 0-)

        On one hand, I'm glad to see the population is meeting goals and pretty stable.

        On the other hand, the population is under 1,700. I know, that's a minimum and the real number is likely higher by an unknown amount. But still, for such a vast, wild area, that seems an awfully scrawny number.

        Any idea what the wolf population is like in Canada and Alaska? Is this species in danger?

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 09:58:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Most of the area of the states pictured above (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          isn't suitable habitat. Wheat, corn, potatoes, and so on are poor country for wolves. Like they say,

          Resident packs have saturated suitable habitat in the core recovery areas
          In many places wolf on wolf predation is the largest form of mortality.

          Canada has maybe 60,000 and Alaska another 10,000. Scientifically the animal is listed as a species of "least concern" they inhabit 2/3 of their original habitat and other than humans they are one of the most wide ranging species. Wiki has an extensive entry and I always like the IUCN for species, buncha scientists.

          How big is your personal carbon footprint?

          by ban nock on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 10:41:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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