Montana Wolf Population Grows In 2008

About 500 wolves now inhabit Montana, equally distributed
between the state’s northern and southern areas, according to the
2008 annual wolf conservation and management report released today
by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

FWP’s report, which is available online at fwp.mt.gov , shows Montana’s wolf
population increased about 18 percent in 2008, compared to a 34
percent increase in 2007. The minimum Montana wolf population is
estimated at 497 wolves, in 84 verified packs, and 34 breeding
pairs.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced recently that it
would delist the northern Rocky Mountain’s gray wolves in Montana,
Idaho and parts of Washington, Utah and Oregon, but not in Wyoming.
The decision was based in part on the USFWS’s determination that
the northern Rocky Mountain population in the approved areas has
exceeded recovery goals and potential threats to the wolf have been
resolved.

FWP’s report is part of the annual federal recovery update
required by USFWS. The end of 2008 count also estimates that 302
wolves inhabited Wyoming and 846 wolves inhabited Idaho. Annual
reports from Idaho, Wyoming, and information about wolves in
Yellowstone National Park and the northern Rockies as a whole are
available online at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov.

The northern Rockies’ “metapopulation” is comprised of wolf
populations in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. Today, about 1,645
wolves, with about 95 breeding pairs, live in the region, where
wolves can travel about freely to join existing packs or form new
packs.   This, combined with wolf populations in Canada and Alaska,
assures genetic diversity.

To learn more about Montana’s wolf population, visit FWP online
at fwp.mt.gov . Click Montana
Wolves.

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