Wolf populations in the Northern Rocky Mountains remain stable, that’s according to a new report out Friday. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along with state agencies compiled the yearly report that looks at the status of wolf population since the species’ delisting from the endangered species list three years ago.
Wolf Management and Science Coordinator Mike Jimenez from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the report confirms that the way states are managing wolves is effective—even in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho where hunting of wolves is legal.
“Hunting has not adversely affected the population, there is no threat to the population,” Jimenez said. “The number of livestock predations are actually down compared to what the averages are. The cost of controlling for those livestock problems are down. So everything is working well the way we had hoped it would work, and the population is doing fine.”
Jimenez said selected control of the wolf population has cut conflict between ranchers and wolves in the region.
“What we’re seeing is that hunting and being able to get rid of wolves that cause problems are thinning them out, they’re not as dense in areas where there’s a lot of livestock,” Jimenez said. “The Same population, the same size of a population, now is more in remote areas, [that are] not so dominated by people.”
The study looked at wolves in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. Utah does not have a wolf population, though animals do wander into the state from time to time. No wolves were confirmed in the state during 2013.