Elk NetworkWashington’s New Approach on Wolf-Livestock Attacks

Conservation | June 15, 2017

Wildlife officials in Washington will shoot one or at most two wolves and then pause when dealing with wolf attacks of livestock. The new policy is meant to deter wolf depredation of livestock at its earliest stages while killing fewer wolves.

“The goal is to interrupt the behavior pattern earlier,” Donny Martorello, Washington Department of Wildlife (WDFW) wolf policy coordinator, told the Capital Press. “If we can do that by removing one or two animals, good. If not, we can take the next incremental step.”

Additionally, the new policy one of the three strikes against a pack can be a “probable” depredation. Previously, only “confirmed” kills were counted, leaving out cases where wildlife investigators were fairly sure wolves killed livestock, but too little of the carcass remained to show wolf bites.

(Photo source: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)