Thursday, April 27, 2017

Wolves in most of Wyoming can be shot on sight

A wolf at Yellowstone (Tribune photo)
Wolves in 85 percent of Wyoming are considered a predator and can now be shot on sight, Christine Peterson reports for the Casper Star Tribune. The Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday upheld a state management plan that had been in place since 2012. A coalition of environmental groups sued in 2012 over the management plan.

Wyoming will now manage the 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs outside of Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Reservation, Peterson notes. Wolves "are classified as a trophy animal in the northwest corner of the state and subject to fall hunting seasons," which will be set by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission after a public comment period.

Tyler Abbott, Wyoming field supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said "preliminary estimates showed Wyoming had about 240 wolves at the end of 2016," Peterson writes. "The feds killed about 115 wolves in 2016 because of livestock depredations, he said. In 2015, the service killed about 54 wolves. In 2012, 42 wolves were killed by hunters in the state’s trophy area and 25 were killed in the rest of the state. The next year, 24 wolves were shot in the trophy area and 39 taken in the rest of the state."

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