How many wolves are on the landscape across Idaho? That’s an often-asked question that Idaho Fish and Game is aiming to answer using game cameras to assist with a statewide population monitoring program.
In 2019, Fish and Game staff deployed nearly 600 game cameras statewide, many within the Magic Valley Region, in a scientifically designed, high-density grid. These cameras took about 11 million pictures over several months, of not only wolves, but opportunistically, they captured images of the amazing diversity of wildlife found throughout Idaho.
Using game cam images collected across the Magic Valley Region in 2019, a short video has been produced to provide a sampling of the wildlife that can be found throughout the region.
These same game cameras will be put out across the state in the summer of 2020 to again gather photographic evidence of wolves across Idaho, and to continue to build a base-line wolf population estimate.
The wolf monitoring is part of a larger statewide project using game cameras to estimate populations for a variety of species. Recent monitoring of deer populations in Southeast Idaho using game cameras while simultaneously using traditional aerial surveys produced almost identical results, which showed wildlife managers they could get valid population estimates for certain species using the camera method.