The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has given approval for killing of additional wolves in the Northeast corner of the state. WDFW made that announcement Wednesday, after wolves in the Old Profanity territory Pack in Ferry County killed a calf and injured five others this month. The attacks occurred in an area once occupied by the Profanity Peak pack, whose members were targeted and killed by the state in 2016. Environmental groups say they plan to file a legal challenge to temporarily halt the killing.
There are at least 122 wolves in 22 packs statewide, according to an annual survey in March. WDFW said this killing isn’t expected to harm recovery efforts.
Wolves are protected as an endangered species throughout the state. But a protocol developed by the agency and others to reduce conflicts between wolves and livestock allows the state to kill wolves if officials confirm a certain number of livestock attacks within a certain time period.
Efforts to trap or shoot the wolves will begin no earlier than Thursday afternoon to give the public one business day notice of the lethal action, which is required by a court order.
The agency said the rancher, who was not identified, took preventative measures to protect livestock, including using range riders to keep watch over the herd and removing sick and injured cattle from the grazing area.
“This is a very difficult situation, especially given the history of wolf-livestock conflict in this area,” Susewind said. He said the agency is committed to preventing more wolf and livestock losses.
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