Elk NetworkIdaho Wolf Population Tops 1,000

General | January 24, 2020

Wildlife officials in Idaho estimate there are more than 1,000 wolves in the state as of January 2020. That figure is more than 600 percent larger than minimum recovery goals of 150 wolves and 15 packs initially established for the population.

“We will be making that estimate every year, and we will know from this point forward if the population is going up, as some people speculate, if it’s been level, or if it’s decreasing,” Ed Schriever, Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) director, told the Associated Press. “It’s more important from the people side of the management of an animal that is very controversial because, without a number that you can track over time, people just speculate based on their belief window.”

IDFG used 569 game cameras that captured more than 11 million photos combined with mathematical modeling to formulate the estimate. Staffers originally estimated 1,541 wolves (more than 1,000% above minimum recovery levels) during the summer of 2019. That number decreased to 1,006 because hunting, trapping, management actions and other human causes removed 327 wolves from the population while research indicates another 208 died of natural causes.

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(Photo source: Idaho Department of Fish and Game)