4 May 2010, 10:11pm
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by admin

Wolves make first kills of livestock in 2010

By Cory Hatch, Jackson Hole News and Guide, April 24, 2010 [here]

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials say wolves northwest of Pinedale killed a cow calf and one horse, and injured another horse, marking the first livestock deaths by wolves in 2010 in Wyoming.

Wolves from the Black Butte pack killed the cow calf at a ranch in mid-March. Agents with Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services subsequently killed three wolves from the group, a radio collared adult wolf, a pup and a yearling.

Black Butte wolves then attacked horses at another ranch last week.

“We think there are probably two [wolves] left in this group,” U.S. Fish and Wildlife Wyoming wolf management project leader Mike Jimenez said. “We will go back in and take those out.”

According to Jimenez, the Black Butte pack is the same pack that was responsible for killing roughly 37 sheep and one steer last summer. The area is prone to wolf attacks.

“In this … area in Pinedale, there’s been a ton of work,” he said. “These ranchers have cleaned up their operations and they don’t leave dead livestock around. But, a lot of these ranchers have had repeated problems.”

“In this area [livestock depredations have] been chronic,” Jimenez continued. “All the packs that have been in there have come to the same fate: They’ve killed livestock and we’ve removed them.”

This aggressive management of wolves that chronically feed on domesticated animals is a tactic that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wolf managers said works to keep both livestock deaths and wolf removals down.

Jimenez said tough management of chronic livestock killers has the added benefit of maintaining public tolerance for wolves.

“Where we encourage wolf recovery is where wolves cause no damage or limited damage,” said Jimenez, who added that the state’s wolf population is well above recovery goals. “About a third of the packs were involved in one or more depredations last year. When they do cause chronic problems, we don’t tolerate those kind of damages year after year.” … [more]



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