Wednesday, July 4, 2012

More wolves found in Washington

State’s 7th pack confirmed near Spokane


By KATHERINE WUTZ
Express Staff Writer

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reported last week that the state's seventh wolf pack has been confirmed, near the Spokane Indian Reservation.

Biologists used remote video cameras to document at least five gray wolf pups in southern Stevens County, near Huckleberry Mountain.

An additional six packs are suspected to exist in the state.

The agency also investigated a reported wolf attack on domestic sheep in northwestern Spokane County. A news release from the agency said officials are working with the rancher on compensation for the lost sheep.

Washington's management plan, adopted in December, states that ranchers can be compensated for the full market value of lost animals that are confirmed wolf kills.

Wolves are currently listed by the state as endangered, and have federal protections throughout the western two-thirds of the state.

The species can be delisted by the state if 15 successful breeding pairs are confirmed in three defined areas of the state for three years. The state can also delist wolves if a total of 18 successful breeding pairs are confirmed in those areas at any point in time.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Regional Director Steve Pozzanghera said officials continue to monitor known wolf packs and look for new ones throughout the state.

Kate Wutz: kwutz@mtexpress.com




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