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Idaho's Wolf Population Plummets for Third Consecutive Year, Leaving as Few as 15 Breeding Pairs Remaining

Population Now Dangerously Close to Levels Where Endangered Species Act Protections Again Required

VICTOR, Idaho— Four years after Congress attached a rider to a spending bill to remove federal protections for wolves in Idaho, the state's wolf population has dropped to levels where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has said it will again consider protection under the Endangered Species Act. As a result of aggressive hunting and trapping seasons, Idaho's wildlife managers are estimating the wolf population may be as low as 550 individuals with 15 breeding pairs. Under the Fish and Wildlife Service's 2009 delisting rule, which Congress passed as law, Idaho is required to manage for at least 15 breeding pairs in mid-winter.

At the end of 2010, prior to delisting, an end-of-year report on Idaho’s wolves, from the Nez Perce tribe, confirmed 46breeding pairs.

“After fighting tooth and nail for the right to manage wolf populations, Idaho has already proven its true goal is to wipe out most of the state’s wolves,” said Andrea Santarsiere, a staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “After less than four years of management, Idaho has encouraged slaughter to the point that the population is now teetering on the brink of endangered status once again. This isn’t ‘management.’ It’s state-sponsored extermination.”

Read more.

Learn more about our campaign to save northern Rockies wolves.

Contact: Andrea Santarsiere

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Media Contacts:
Mike Stark, Communications Director
mstark@biologicaldiversity.org, (520) 623-5252 ext. 315

Andy Parker, Media Specialist – Endangered Species
aparker@biologicaldiversity.org, (503) 310-5569

Patrick Sullivan, Media Specialist – Climate Change, Fracking
psullivan@biologicaldiversity.org, (415) 632-5316

Russ McSpadden, Communications Associate – Media Photos
rmcspadden@biologicaldiversity.org

Banner photo courtesy Flickr/lalo pangue; gray wolf courtesy Flickr/daliiedee