Continue reading here: http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-new ... -in-state/Wolves are thriving in Washington.
The state’s most recent population survey, completed this month, shows at least four new packs in the state: the Beaver Creek, Loup Loup, Skookum and Stranger packs in Ferry, Okanogan, Pend Oreille and Stevens counties respectively.
By the end of 2015, the state was home to at least 90 wolves, in 18 packs and eight breeding pairs, according to the survey by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife released Monday.
The number of wolves grew by 32 percent last year, despite the deaths of seven wolves from various human causes, including legal hunting on the Spokane Indian Reservation, where the tribe authorizes the hunting of up to six wolves per year by its tribal members. Three wolves in all were killed by tribal hunters last year.
The four other deaths included one wolf hit by a car that had been recovering from gunshot wounds to the leg; and a wolf shot by a Columbia County property owner from his porch because he was concerned for his dogs and family. That wolf had been collared in Oregon, and was found to be undernourished and suffering from infected bird shot wounds to the head. A third wolf died during an attempt to capture it.
The fourth wolf’s cause of death is unknown.
Despite the deaths, since 2008, when the department documented just one pack and five wolves in Washington, the population has increased by an average 36 percent per year.
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