WDFW To Kill Wolves
State wildlife managers announced their plan to remove members of a wolf pack in Stevens County.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says that a wolfpack has repeatedly preyed on livestock in Stevens County since 2015.
WDFW Director Jim Unsworth authorized the lethal action plan against the Smackout wolf pack, based on four occasions where wolves preyed on livestock since last September.
Unsworth said that action, set to begin this week, is consistent with Washington's Wolf Management Plan of 2011, which authorizes WDFW to take lethal measures to address repeated attacks on livestock.
The plan is hoped to change the pack's behavior.
The Smackout pack is one of 20 wolf packs documented in Washington state by WDFW in 2016. At that time, the pack was estimated to consist of eight wolves, but it has since produced an unknown number of pups.
The department announced the plan after a recent July 18 livestock kill in which WDFW staff witnessed the attack. WDFW says the lethal action plan is consistent with regulations that allow livestock owners and their employees to take lethal action to protect their livestock in areas of the state where wolves are no longer listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Over the past two months, radio signals from GPS collars attached to two of the pack's members have indicated that those wolves were frequently within a mile of livestock, according to WDFW officials.