Idaho Fish and Game, in cooperation with the USDA Wildlife Services, has completed another wolf control action in northern Idaho's Lolo elk zone near the Idaho/Montana border to improve poor elk survival in the area.
In February, Wildlife Services agents killed 23 wolves from a helicopter. The action is consistent with Idaho's predation management plan for the Lolo elk zone, where predation is the major reason elk population numbers are considerably below management objectives.
The Lolo predation management plan is posted on the Fish and Game website: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/wildlife/?getPage=325
This is the sixth agency control action taken in Lolo zone during the last four years. Twenty-five wolves were taken in the previous five actions.
Fish and Game authorizes control actions where wolves are causing conflicts with people or domestic animals, or are a significant factor in prey population declines. Such control actions are consistent with Idaho's 2002 Wolf Conservation and Management Plan approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Idaho Legislature.
Fish and Game prefers to manage wolf populations using hunters and trappers and only authorizes control actions where harvest has been insufficient to meet management goals. The Lolo zone is steep, rugged country that is difficult to access, especially in winter.
In addition to the animals killed in this control action, 17 wolves have been taken by hunters and trappers in the Lolo zone during the 2013-14 season - 7 by hunting and 10 by trapping. The trapping season ends March 31, the hunting season ends June 30.