Four wolves were lethally removed from the Madison Valley after three calves were confirmed killed on private land in April and May.
USDA Wildlife Services lethally removed the four wolves between April 24 and May 23. The depredations were investigated and confirmed by Wildlife Services over a two-week span in April.
After the first depredation, FWP issued the landowner a permit to kill the one wolf. The agency also authorized federal authorities to remove one wolf in the area where the attack occurred.
Because the depredation behavior became habitual, FWP authorized the removal of all four wolves inhabiting the area where the attacks occurred.
FWP takes an incremental approach to lethally remove wolves that attack livestock to reduce the pack size, which decreases the pack’s food requirements. Such removals focus on repeated depredations.
In the course of the investigations and control actions, officials also found the carcasses of five wolf pups in an abandoned wolf den.
“When a wolf pack focuses on livestock on private land as a food source, difficult decisions have to be made. Wolves that habitually kill livestock do not further long-term wolf conservation on the Montana landscape,” said Carolyn Sime FWP’s wolf management coordinator in Helena. “More than 300 wolves inhabit Montana and most are finding ways to fit into the Montana landscape. It’s not easy, but our program strives to balance wolves, other wildlife, private property concerns, and people.”
Landowners who suspect wolves to be the cause of livestock depredations should immediately contact their local USDA Wildlife services agent to report the incident, Sime said.
To learn more about Montana’s recovered wolf population, visit FWP online at www.fwp.mt.gov/wildthings/wolf where visitors can also tell FWP when they see wolves or wolf sign. The information helps to verify the activity, distribution, and pack size of Montana’s recovered wolf population.