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And then there were ten

Posted by Jasmine Minbashian at Mar 27, 2012 02:15 PM |

Washington may have as many as ten wolf packs, according to a new map from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

And then there were ten

Does a map of more potential wolf packs mean wolves are "exploding out of control" as some anti-wolf activists like to exclaim? Hardly.

Recently the Washington Department of Fish Wildlife updated their map of potential wolf packs in the state - and it looks like we may have as many as ten packs. Northwest Sportsman did an excellent job explaining the current populations.

With 5-10 pups in a litter, wolves can reproduce at faster rates than other large carnivores like grizzlies. Does this new map mean that wolves are "exploding out of control"  as anti-wolf activists like to exclaim? No.  

This growth in the potential number of packs probably has more to do with people than wolves. With the wolf plan finalized, WDFW now has more capacity and resources to implement a recovery plan, and that means more boots on the ground. Many of the sightings around suspected packs had been reported by locals for many years, but little follow up work had been done to confirm pack activity.  

A few weeks ago WDFW debuted a new wolf sighting reporting website to help monitoring efforts. The department deserves kudos for stepping up its game, showing the public that it will respond more rapidly to sighting reports - which will help us get a more accurate gauge on recovery progress.

Last week they also released three exciting videos of wolves caught on camera that may belong to one of the newly discovered packs in the Columbia Highlands (yet another reason to love that place). 

Conservation Northwest has been a crucial partner to WDFW in assisting wolf monitoring efforts for years. Our camera program documented Washington's first confirmed pack (Lookout), and the other confirmed pack in the Cascades (Teanaway). And we'll shoot for 3 for 3 this year with expanded monitoring efforts in the South Cascades, where no wolf packs have yet been documented.  You can help by sponsoring our South Cascade cameras this year.

Are you as thrilled as us to be a witness to wolf recovery unfolding in our state? It's an amazing time for Washington's wild ecosystems!

 

 

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Wolfs in Packwood?

Posted by Brandon Colglazier at Apr 01, 2012 07:19 PM
I've heard from multiple people that there are wolves in Lewis county, and i believe to have seen tracks this winter. As loners approach the elk herds I hunt, I am eager to learn the plans to watch the So. Cascades are already in the works. The population growth/expansion is exciting as long as the state as a whole is able to fund and support the programs needed to keep people on their heels as the wolves wander into the dense underbrush that is the Pacific Northwest.

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