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Wolf numbers stabilize, fewer livestock lost in Northern Rockies

Latest report defies hysteria over wolf recovery

Bozeman, Mont. (03/11/2011) -

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery 2010 Interagency Annual Report today, which includes the latest wolf population estimates as well as a summary of annual livestock losses to wolves.

The following is a statement from Mike Leahy, Rocky Mountain director for Defenders of Wildlife:

“This latest population report should put to rest the idea that the wolves in the Northern Rockies are out of control. Wolf populations won’t grow forever. They will stabilize and restore a natural balance in the region.

“At the same time, the total number of confirmed livestock losses to wolves has decreased substantially since 2009. In 2010, about 200 head of cattle and 250 sheep were confirmed as losses to wolves across the entire region, where there are more than five million cattle and half a million sheep. For those losses, ranchers were compensated more than $450,000—an average of $1,000 per animal. The situation is not out of control, no matter what some politicians and special interest groups would like us to think.

“The wolf hysteria has gone on long enough. If Idaho and Montana stand behind the commitments they made in their state wolf management plans to maintain sustainable wolf populations, and if Wyoming develops a responsible plan to do the same, then we can move forward with everyone’s goal of delisting wolves and celebrating a great conservation success story.”


Read the USFWS 2010 wolf report

Find the latest statewide livestock statistics from the National Agricultural Statistics Service


John Motsinger, (202) 772-0288