The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has killed one of the three members of an endangered wolf pack in the northeastern corner of the state, hoping that deters the pack from attacking more livestock.
The adult, non-breeding female member of the Wedge wolf pack was killed on Monday, reducing the pack to two known members.
The WDFW said this pack has repeatedly preyed on cattle on public and private grazing lands in Stevens County.
The killing came just four days after conservation groups petitioned Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee to order the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to draft new rules that limit when the state can kill wolves for conflicts with livestock. No action has been taken yet on that petition.
The state since 2012 has killed more than 30 wolves.
Fish and Wildlife Director Kelly Susewind approved the removal of a wolf from the Wedge pack last week, after the agency staff confirmed five depredation incidents within the previous 30 days. Agency staff confirmed two additional depredations two days after the authorization.
The Wedge pack has been involved in 11 predation incidents resulting in three dead and 11 injured livestock since May 2020, the agency said.
The WDFW hopes that killing one wolf will change the pack’s behavior.