Washington’s second wolf pack confirmed - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington’s second wolf pack confirmed

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Remote camera images of wolf pups in Pend Oreille County (Photo: WDFW) Remote camera images of wolf pups in Pend Oreille County (Photo: WDFW)

PEND OREILLE COUNTY, Wash. - Wildlife officials say Washington's second gray wolf pack has been confirmed, making it one of two confirmed packs since 1930.

In late July, biologists with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife captured a 105 pound alpha male and two wolf pups in northeast Pend Oreille County. All three were tagged with satellite collars to let biologists track them by GPS.

How to recognize a gray wolf    (click to enlarge)

Gray wolves have been nearly extinct since the 1930s, when state and federal officials allowed people to trap, shoot or poison the wolf population as they were seen as too much of a threat to ranchers' livestock.

Now, the wolves are slowly seeing a resurgence in the area as a result of federal recovery efforts in the northern Rocky Mountains. A remote DNR camera recorded images of a female gray wolf in May which appeared to be nursing pups. Genetic hair testing indicated the wolves most likely came from Montana and Southwestern Alberta.

Last summer, Washington's first breeding pair of wolves found since the 1930s was radio-collared in western Okanogan County in north-central Washington.

Last week, Fish and Wildlife officials captured a 105 pound alpha male. The male was tagged with a satellite collar to be tracked by GPS. Officials also caught and tagged two wolf pups.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife is currently in the process of drafting a wolf conservation and management plan, which will be open to public comment in the Spokane area in October. The plan was developed by a 17 member citizen working group composed of conservation representatives, ranchers and hunters.

(With information from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife)

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