Idaho Department of Fish and Game and the Nez Perce Tribe have released their annual wolf report: "Wolf Conservation and Management in Idaho; Progress Report 2005."
The report, required by federal wolf reintroduction rules, summarizes the status of wolves and wolf management within Idaho, including portions of all three northern Rocky Mountain recovery areas: endangered wolves in the Northwest Montana recovery area north of Interstate 90 and nonessential experimental wolves within the Idaho and the Greater Yellowstone recovery areas south of Interstate 90.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which has ultimate responsibility for endangered and reintroduced wolves in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, compiles an annual interagency report summarizing wolf recovery and management in those states: http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov/annualrpt05/.
In the past, the Nez Perce Tribe wrote an annual report for Idaho. In January 2006, however, an agreement between the U.S. Department of the Interior and Idaho gave Idaho primary management responsibility over wolves in the state, including producing the annual progress report.
The report notes that officially, by the end of 2005, biologists documented 59 resident wolf packs in Idaho, observed a minimum of 370 wolves, and estimated the population at 512 wolves. In addition, 11 documented border packs have established territories that straddle state boundaries between Idaho, Montana and Wyoming and probably spend some time in Idaho. Of the 40 packs known to have reproduced, 36 qualified as breeding pairs by the end of the year. These 40 reproductive packs produced an estimated minimum 123 pups, two of which were known to have died.
In Idaho, wolf packs ranged from near the Canadian border south to Interstate 84, and from the Oregon border east to the Montana and Wyoming borders. Dispersing wolves were occasionally reported in previously unoccupied areas. Eleven new packs were documented during 2005. More than 500 wolf observations were reported on Fish and Game's website reporting form during 2005.
Officials confirmed that 43 wolves died in Idaho in 2005. Of those known mortalities, agency control and legal landowner take in response to wolf-livestock depredation accounted for 26 deaths, illegal take 10 deaths, other human causes 6 deaths, and natural causes one death.
During 2005, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services classified 26 cattle, 218 sheep, and 9 dogs as confirmed or probable wolf kills.
The report is available on the Fish and Game website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov