Wolf, © Didier J. Lindsey

Idaho’s War on Wolves is Taking its Toll: Preliminary Estimates Say Idaho’s Wolf Population is Down: This week the Idaho Department of Fish and Game released a wolf status update which provides an estimate of Idaho’s wolf population. The update suggests that there could be as few as 15 wolf breeding pairs in Idaho, a new low. That’s fewer breeding pairs than in either Montana or Wyoming — according to 2013 population estimates — despite Idaho’s larger wolf population and greater amount of habitat. When Congress handed wolf management over to Idaho in 2011, Idaho pledged to manage wolves like other valued species and the state’s wolf population management plan called for maintaining more than 500 wolves and more than 15 breeding pairs. In the long term, this will undermine the conservation of gray wolves more broadly throughout the Northern Rockies.

Wolf Alpha Female, © Bill Keeting     A wolf from Yellowstone’s Canyon Pack.

Project Leader for Yellowstone Wolf Program Tells All: Doug Smith, Yellowstone National Park’s Wolf Project Leader, shares all you wanted to know about the park’s wolf recovery program — which celebrated its 20th anniversary just last week. How does the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem benefit from having wolves? How have wolves affected the elk population? Has the reintroduction of wolves changed our knowledge of this animal? This is a great Q and A video series for anyone looking to learn more about this reintroduction, and about wolves in general!

Congresswoman Pushes Forward With Plan To Remove Protections for Wyoming and Great Lakes Wolves: Congress shows no signs of slowing their efforts to legislatively remove wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes States from the list of federally-endangered species. In Wyoming, the stakes are particularly high. If Wyoming’s Representative Lummis succeeds, wolves in Wyoming will once again be in grave danger as unlimited wolf killing in 80 percent of the state will be reinstated as the law of the land. Politicians should not inject themselves into what should be a science-based decision. The ESA is clear – decisions about imperiled wildlife protection should be based on the best available science, and not politics. Rest assured, we will continue to fight any efforts by Congress to further jeopardize wolf recovery and undermine the ESA.

Wolf Killed in Montana’s Wolf Hunt: This week, Montana’s first “Great Montana Coyote and Wolf Hunt” took place on private lands in Sanders County. More than 100 registered and participated; one wolf was killed during the hunt. But, by no means is this wolf’s death the extent of the consequences. These events promote the attitude that predators are vermin and help spread anti-predator myths. These tactics are also similar to the misinformed thinking that led to wolves’ and other predators’ near extinction once before. We will continue to advocate that state wildlife agencies and lawmakers should work to ban these types of commercialized killing contests.