Fish & Wildlife | Ecotrope

Gray wolves: By the numbers

Ecotrope | April 13, 2011 1:51 p.m. | Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 1:39 p.m.

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The Range blog has a well-researched article on Congress’ pending attempt to take gray wolves off the Endangered Species List. Writer Heather Hansen argues against the controversial budget bill rider, but she also presents some raw numbers that I found interesting. I listed some of them below, Harper’s Index style, and added a bunch more (feel free to send me the stats you’d like to add):

Number of gray wolves introduced to Idaho and Yellowstone 1995-96: 66

Number of wolves in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming last year: 1,651 in 111 breeding pairs

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s delisting goal: 300 wolves in 30 breeding pairs

Number of years the Northern Rocky Mountain population has exceeded that goal: 9

Estimated number of wolves in Idaho last year: 705

In Montana: 566

Wyoming: 343

Wolves documented in eastern Oregon today: 23

In eastern Washington: 16

Confirmed cattle killed by wolves throughout the Northern Rockies last year: 199

Confirmed sheep kills: 249

Dogs: 2

Number of wolves killed by wildlife officials or private citizens last year: 260

Number of cows/calves killed by wolves in Montana last year: 84

Total number of cattle in Montana last year: 2.5 million

Number of confirmed Montana sheep killed by wolves: 67

Number sheep producers reported lost from other causes (i.e. disease, weather): 49,000

Number they reported lost to all predators: 17,800

Number of sheep deaths blamed on coyotes: 12,100

On eagles: 800

Amount of money the feds spent on Northern Rockies wolf management last year: $4,566,000

Amount the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife spent the last two years: $480,000

Amount paid to Montana ranchers for 369 livestock losses to wolves in 2009: $143,000

Amount cattlemen say they’ll need to start a compensation program in Oregon: $750,000

Long-term wolf population target under the 2008 Idaho Wolf Management Plan: 500 to 700

Harvest limit set for Idaho’s first wolf hunt in 2009: 220

Number of wolves killed by hunters that year: 135

Number killed by wildlife officials and landowners to protect livestock the same year: 94

Number of wolves that died from ‘natural causes’: 2

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