Wildlife Managers, Environmentalists Agree: More Wolf Collars Needed

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Wolf advocates and government wildlife officials rarely agree on how to best manage the region's wolf population, but this morning's Idaho Mountain Express reports that the adversaries agree at least one one thing: Idaho needs more radio collars for its wolves.

Two dozen scientists, field technicians and elected officials huddled at the Sawtooth National Recreation Area headquarters on June 21 to examine the Wood River Wolf Project, a nonlethal deterrent program that has garnered national attention. Since the project began in 2008, no wolves have been killed within the project area.

All parties agreed that more radio collars would enhance the project and give opportunity to expand its reach. Currently, there are only 30 collared wolves in Idaho, none in Blaine County. But funding any additional collars will be a challenge. Since wolves lost their Endangered Species Act protection, federal funding for wolf projects dropped 25 percent in the past year and are expected to be eliminated entirely within five years.