OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A new survey shows the number of gray wolves in Washington has nearly doubled in the past year.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s 2012 annual survey confirms at least 51 wolves in nine wolf packs in Washington state. That includes five successful breeding pairs.
The 2011 study documented 27 wolves, five wolf packs and three breeding pairs.
Wildlife Program Director Nate Pamplin says the actual number of wolves is likely much higher, since lone wolves often go uncounted and those that roam Washington but do not den here are not included in the survey.
Field biologists already suspect there are two additional wolf packs.
Pamplin says those factors mean there could easily be as many as 100 wolves in Washington.