Idaho Fish and Game has killed wolves in the upper part of Idaho. The Department says the goal is to boost the number of elk in the area.
Seven times in the last eight years, the Department has taken steps to kill wolves in the Lolo Elk Zone. Over the past month, seven wolves have been killed there.
Fish and Game says since 1992, the number of elk in the zone has dropped dramatically from more than 10,000 to just under 1,900 in 2017. They blame the loss on a number of factors, including declining vegetation, a bad winter in 1996 and predators, including mountain lions, black bears and wolves.
Since the late 1990s, elk hunting has been restricted in the Lolo Zone. And for the past eight years, an average of 14 wolves have been killed by Fish and Game each year. Another 21 wolves are killed, on average, each year by hunters and trappers. So far this season, hunters and trappers have killed 18 wolves in the area.
The Department says that in order to bring back more elk, that will mean killing bears, mountain lions and more wolves, along with large-scale habitat improvements.
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