2010 Northern Rockies Wolf Report released.

NRM population estimate down from 1731 to 1651. Minimum population estimate down significantly in Idaho from 870 to 705.

The 2010 Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Reports are out and they show a decrease in the overall wolf population. Wyoming and Montana saw slight increases while Idaho accounted the decline seen in the overall population.  It has long been predicted that wolf populations would level out and possibly decrease as seen in Yellowstone but it is hard to attribute the declines to any particular cause.  It could partly be attributable to last year’s hunt which occurred partially during the wolf breeding season and afterwards, a reduced elk population , increased poaching, difficulty in monitoring, and other factors could play a role as well.

Keep in mind that these estimates are minimum population estimates and that the actual population is higher.  All of the discussions I have had with the people who do these counts indicate that they feel that while these counts are not complete, they are within 20% of the actual counts and are probably accurate with regard to the trends that they show.

Wolves of the Northern Rocky Mountains: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Report: Wolf Pack Numbers Remain Steady, Livestock Losses Down
NBC Montana

And from this article:

Sen. Benjamin Cardin, a Maryland Democrat who blocked efforts to take wolves off the list in the last Congress, issued a statement this week to The Associated Press saying he remained opposed to a legislative solution to the issue.

Wolf population dips in Northern Rockies
By MATTHEW BROWN – Associated Press

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State scrambling to revive wolf hunt

…..and GUT the Endangered Species Act.
The details of the overreach.

Wolf © Ken Cole

The States are asking their congressional delegations to GUT the Endangered Species Act by changing the language of the Act so that it would allow species to be delisted based on state boundaries. In other words, it would allow the USFWS to use arbitrary, political rationalizations to decide when and where species can receive protection or to incrementally list or delist populations using rationalizations that are not based on the “best available science”. The ramifications of this are pretty profound and conservation groups should take notice of this. As the comments of the Montana FWP commissioners shows, they are not talking just about wolves but about all species.

“Changing the Endangered Species Act sounds like a tough, uphill job, but it’s important when you look at other species like grizzlies and sage grouse,” said Commissioner Dan Vermillion. “Montana has done a good job managing wildlife and we need to make sure we are not penalized (because of other states’ actions).”

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