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Report: Wolf Population Increase Not Hurting Deer Numbers

posted Mar 17, 2018, 7:35 PM by chloe owens

12/8/2017, by Nicholas Geraios, Spokesman Review

Report: Wolf population increase not hurting deer numbers

The growing population of wolves in eastern Washington state does not appear to be hurting the populations of deer, elk, moose and bighorn sheep, according to a report issued this week by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. The agency in 2015-17 studied the populations of those animals, known as ungulates, that are hunted by wolves and found that none “in this assessment appear to show clear signs of being limited by predation,” the report concluded…There have been numerous conflicts between wolves and livestock in recent years, and the state has killed 18 problem wolves since 2012, drawing sharp criticism from environmental groups. The study used population estimates obtained from aerial surveys, plus the number of ungulates harvested by hunters, the agency said. State officials have also launched a more comprehensive, multi-year study of the impact of wolves on ungulates. The agency defined an at-risk ungulate population as one that falls 25 percent below its population objective for two consecutive years, or one in which the harvest decreases by 25 percent below the 10-year average harvest rate for two consecutive years. The report showed that initial fears that wolves would wipe out wild ungulates were unfounded, said Amaroq Weiss, who works on wolf recovery issues for the Center for Biological Diversity…

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/dec/08/report-wolf-population-increase-not-hurting-deer-n/#/0  

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