Wolf depredation reported south of Two Dot

Billings – Wolves killed 11 sheep and injured five more south of
Two Dot Thursday, USDA Wildlife Services officials have confirmed.
Wolves in the Lebo Peak pack, which formed in 2008, were believed
responsible for the damage.

Wildlife Services was authorized to lethally remove one wolf
from the pack and capture and collar one wolf. The sheep producer
was given a permit to lethally remove one wolf if it is seen on his
property.

Particularly with new packs, biologists prefer to capture at
least one wolf and release it with a radio-transmitter collar so
they can track movement, size and distribution of the pack.
Biologists believe the new Lebo Peak pack may have five or six
wolves, none of which carries a radio collar.

The sheep producer who lost animals Thursday told officials that
he saw four wolves in the area. An adjacent landowner also reported
wolf activity Thursday. Last year sheep were killed in the same
area and a single wolf was thought to be responsible. Efforts to
capture that wolf were unsuccessful.

Wolves in Montana currently are federally protected. Federal
regulations permit livestock owners to haze, harass or kill wolves
seen actively chasing or attacking livestock or domestic dogs.  
Wolves also may be killed to protect human life.  

Efforts to delist the northern Rockies gray wolf from the
federal Endangered Species Act are ongoing and under review by the
new administration.   In early February, FWP formally requested an
expedited review and recommended that delisting in Montana proceed
as soon as possible.

To learn more about Montana’s wolf population, visit FWP online
at fwp.mt.gov/wildthings/wolf
, where visitors can also tell FWP when they see wolves or wolf
sign. The information helps to verify the activity, distribution
and pack size of Montana’s wolf population.

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