A recently-released update on wolf management in the state of Washington indicates that local packs may be shifting territories, and that the presence of wolves is currently not having detectable impacts on the state’s ungulate/big-game herds. Numbers of elk, moose, and mule deer appear to be increasing.
Also, only a small percentage of packs (12% on average) are known to be predating upon livestock. Most of these are in the northeastern area of the state.
In 2014, there were 32 wolf-livestock depredation investigations (page 27). Of these:
- 7 were found to have been caused by wolves
- 7 were caused by other wild carnivores (cougar, coyote)
- 1 was caused by an other, unknown predator
- 12 were unknown/undetermined causes (e.g., natural death)
- 5 had other causes (1 ravens/eagles; 4 “structural”)
There are currently 14 radio collared wolves active in Washington, including members of the Salmo, Goodman, Diamond, Smackout, Dirty Shirt, Huckleberry, Profanity, Lookout, Teanaway and Tucannon packs.
The 2014 Annual Survey of Wolves in Washington may be found here.
The 2014 Wolf Conservation and Management Annual Report may be found here.
The official Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife wolf conservation site is located here.