Yes, they are killing more wolves after livestock attacks. This will not reduce the wolf population unless, other things being unchanged, the mortality rate reaches 30 to 40% a year.
A more significant question is “does this do any good and is it cost-effective?” Does it make economic sense to call out the Wildlife Services “air force” and spend $20,000 killing a wolf or wolves that did $1000 damage?
Another questions is, are these revenge shootings or efforts to solve a problem?
One of the most significant parts of the article below, by Mike Stark of the Billings Gazette, is this
“A University of Calgary study published earlier this year said killing problem wolves is only a temporary solution to livestock attacks. Once the offender is removed, another eventually moves in to take its place.
“Wolves are being killed as a corrective, punitive measure – not a preventative one,” Marco Musiani, one of the study’s authors, said earlier this year.
A better approach, he said, is to look at when and where depredations occur and take steps like changing grazing patterns and using guard dogs, fencing, wolf repellants and other measures”
Stark also wrote:
“Coyotes kill 28 times more sheep and lambs than wolves, according to figures compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Foxes, dogs, bears and even eagles also rank higher, and that’s not to mention weather, diseases and lambing complications.”