Demand Better Management for Idaho's Wolves

The current management of the Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) in the State of Idaho, though listed as Big Game is being treated with cruelty, negligence, without the respect and protections afforded to other Big Game species. Specific concerns include the lengthy hunting seasons that extend into and through breeding seasons, disregard to basic biology and reproductive processes of the Grey Wolf, use of unsound science in determining harvest limits and number of wolves allotted to each individual, as well as misuse of data regarding livestock loss and ungulate herd impacts. 
The Grey Wolf is the only species listed as Big Game which is hunted ten months out of the year, and in some instances year-round, as well as the only species allowed to be taken when accompanied by young. Other predators are afforded these protections and the Grey Wolf should be treated no differently than other Big Game species. With wolves being a new species to be listed as Game, more science needs to be implemented that will allow for the species to remain not only genetically viable, but also biologically stable in regards to individual packs.  The wolf is not a species that can or should be managed by quotas and numbers, they must be managed on the individual basis due to their social structure and the impacts they face when an animal of high rank is harvested.

To Those it May Concern:

I am writing to you in opposition of the current management regarding the Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) in the State of Idaho, on the grounds that this species listed as Big Game is being treated with cruelty, negligence, without the respect and protections afforded to other Big Game species. Specific concerns include the lengthy hunting seasons that extend into and through breeding seasons, disregard to basic biology and reproductive processes of the Grey Wolf, use of unsound science in determining harvest limits and number of wolves allotted to each individual, as well as misuse of data regarding livestock loss and ungulate herd impacts.


The Grey Wolf is the only species listed as Big Game which is hunted ten months out of the year, and in some instances year-round, as well as the only species allowed to be taken when accompanied by young. Other predators are afforded these protections and the Grey Wolf should be treated no differently than other Big Game species. With wolves being a new species to be listed as Game, more science needs to be implemented that will allow for the species to remain not only genetically viable, but also biologically stable in regards to individual packs. Currently, wolf packs are being destroyed in mass. The wolf is not a species that can or should be managed by quotas and numbers, they must be managed on the individual basis due to their social structure and the impacts they face when an animal of high rank is harvested.


Sound science shows that the Grey Wolf is a minimal cause of cattle and sheep losses, yet a main reason given to the public to justify these devastating quotas and harvests is to combat depredation. Science from Oregon, the state with the most progressive wolf management plan, shows that when livestock owners implement non-lethal wolf control, the number of livestock lost per year drops dramatically. Oregon has roughly 1.3 million head of cattle, and a current wolf population of 53. Idaho, on the other hand, has 2.1 million head of cattle, with a 2012 estimate of 683 wolves. Oregon had banned killing wolves for over a year, in which time their wolf population nearly doubled to its current size, and livestock losses decreased by roughly half. Oregon lost less than ten cows to wolves once non-lethal control methods were implemented, Idaho lost 92 cows last year- an increase from previous years. These numbers are minimal in comparison to the tens of thousands of cattle lost in each state per year to disease. The Northern Rockies have seen dramatic increase in depredation since implementing wolf hunts, this is because smaller, broken up packs are inefficient at hunting native prey. Native ungulate herds in Idaho, according to Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, have remained stable and even increased by five percent since the wolf reintroduction. Montana has experienced an overall increase in elk by 66 percent, and another 35 percent increase in Wyoming. Wolves may be a factor in a few isolated declines, but have allowed for the elk to move in a more natural manner with a lower transmissions rate for disease.


The current management of the Grey Wolf does not adequately provide for individual animals nor the species. The current limit of take per person (5 per hunter, 5 per trapper) goes beyond responsible harvest. It is important that Idaho treats this species with the same respect and fairness afforded to other species living in the states, at this time Idaho is failing the American public as well as the Grey Wolf species.


Please consider these facts and comments and help preserve the Grey Wolf in Idaho for future generations to enjoy.


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