The hunt continues – Nearly 300 wolves have been killed by hunters and trappers in the Northern Rockies since the end of August, including the first four wolves that were trapped in Montana. Wyoming’s season will end in ten days while the season in Montana continues through February. Most hunting districts in Idaho are open through the end of March, except two that close on Jan. 31 and two that remain open through June.
Here’s the breakdown of wolves killed so far this year:
- Idaho – 122 wolves hunted; 15 trapped
- Montana – 96 wolves hunted; 4 trapped
- Wyoming – 39 wolves hunted; 20 killed in predator zone
We will continue to closely monitor wolf losses, including those wolves being killed once they leave the relative safety of Yellowstone National Park. Defenders applauded Montana commissioners and the governor last week for instating a temporary ban on hunting and trapping near the park, and we’re urging Idaho and Wyoming to do the same. The Bozeman Chronicles agrees with us that creating a buffer zone around the park to protect these iconic animals is the right thing to do:
“If we are to successfully negotiate a coexistence with these predators, knowledge of their behavior is key. It’s in everyone’s interest to understand these animals as much as we possibly can and to minimize wolf-human conflicts. Preserving the Yellowstone National Park population of wolves is critical to achieving that goal.” — Bozeman Daily Chronicle editorial
Don’t forget our senior staff attorney Jason Rylander is scheduled to be on HLN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell show tonight (4:30 p.m. Pacific/7:30 p.m. Eastern) to talk about the loss of Yellowstone wolves. Be sure to check your local cable listings and tune in! The segment will be posted online soon after it airs.
Wolves in Vegas? – Science Daily reports that scientists have discovered evidence that prehistoric wolves once roamed parts of Nevada. Researchers found the foot bone of what appears to be a dire wolf, an Ice Age species that roamed much of the continent until about 10,000 years ago. Dire wolves lived alongside other large mammals like mammoths, camels and saber-tooth cats. The species disappeared for unknown reasons leaving room for modern gray wolves to take over.