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IDFG Report Shows Idaho 2015 Wolf Count About Same as 2014


  • Doug Smith—National Park Service

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game reports that Idaho's 2015 wolf population was near the same levels as in 2014.

According to IDFG's 2015 Idaho Wolf Monitoring Progress Report, biologists documented approximately 786 wolves in 108 packs, in addition to 20 documented packs counted by Montana, Washington and Wyoming that overlapped Idaho state boundaries. The count is similar to 2014, but below peak years 2008 and 2009.

The report states, "At the end of 2015, Idaho’s wolf population remained well-distributed and well above population minimums required under Idaho’s 2002 Wolf Conservation and Management Plan." 

Scientists also made a closer study of 53 packs and found 33 of them met the federal breeding pair criteria of one adult male, one adult female and at least two pups.

IDFG also reported Idaho hunters and trappers killed 256 wolves in 2015: 54 were killed in response to wolf depredation of livestock; 21 were killed to reduce depredation on big game populations. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents reported 35 cattle, 125 sheep, three dogs and one horse were killed by wolves in 2015. In addition, nine cattle and nine sheep killed were classified as probable wolf depredation.

In 2011, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service required Idaho to detail its wolf monitoring for five years and publish its findings, so this might be the last report of its kind for the near future.