Our colleague in Idaho, Ralph Maughan, reported brought the following story to our attention in his blog today:
Wolves caught eating what they shouldn’t are paying a higher price these days.
A record number have been killed this year in the northern Rocky Mountains for going after cows, sheep, dogs and other domestic animals.
So far, 152 wolves have been shot by government agents or private landowners, about 50 more than last year and an eightfold increase from five years ago.
In Wyoming, one-quarter of all wolves living outside Yellowstone’s protective boundary were killed after reports of attacks on livestock.
Wolf managers are taking a more aggressive tack with problem wolves mostly because the population in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho has soared beyond expectation in recent years.
“We’ve got a recovered population so we’re pretty hard on them if they get into trouble,” said Ed Bangs, wolf recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
There are at least 1,264 wolves in the three states, according to new figures provided Monday.
That’s roughly a 20 percent increase over 2005, which is on top of years of steady growth since wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho in 1995 and 1996.
To read the complete article from the Billings Gazette, click here.