Colvilles Say There Are 3 To 9 Wolves On Reservation

A Wenatchee World article yesterday reveals that there may be three and perhaps as many as nine more wolves in Washington than previously known.

Those figures come from the Colville Reservation, which WDFW did not survey when it did its statewide end-of-2011 count which said there were a minimum of 27 in five packs.

The estimate is based on lone tracks; it’s unclear if there’s any pack on the reservation.

The Colville Tribes, a sovereign nation whose lands fall outside state control and WDFW’s wolf management and recovery plan, also made much more clear their position on wolves.

“We’re going to be managing them. And when I say manage, I mean we’re going to be removing some,” Joe Peone, Fish and Wildlife director, told reporter KC Mahaffey.

Mahaffey also reported: “But just how many wolves tribal members want on the reservation, and how they’ll want them removed when the wolf population exceeds that number, is yet to be determined.”

Randy Friedlander, a wildlife biologist there, says that the wolves there will be studied — the Colvilles hope to get trapping help from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service this spring — tribal members have been surveyed about their opinions on the species, and a management plan will be created, according to the article.

The tribes will also meet with WDFW on wolves in the “North Half,” the public and private land formerly part of the reservation in the Republic area, Mahaffey writes.

Previously we’ve reported on wolves and the Colvilles here, here and here.

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