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Idaho Fish And Game Wolf Report Shows Increase In Numbers

gray wolf, wolves
U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Idaho wolf numbers are up, at the same time that the Idaho Legislature continues to add money to the Wolf Depradation Fund.

According to Idaho Fish and Game biologists, 786 wolves roamed the state in 2015. That compares to 770 the year before. The agency calls the dispersal of the animals a success, and points out the numbers remain above the minimum required by the state and federal government.


But not all Idaho wolves had a good year. Three-hundred-and-fifty-eight animals died; most of them were trapped or hunted legally. (That's compared to 360 wolves last year.) Seventy-five were killed by the state after concerns about predation on livestock or big game. The department says the impact on livestock has gone down since the state began depredation efforts.

Critics argue it’s not necessary to kill the animals, and instead would like to see the state use non-lethal methods. But that doesn’t look to be changing soon. The Idaho Legislature approved an additional $4,000 to be added to the Wolf Depredation Fund during this year's legislative session.

Find Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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