Despite hunting and trapping pressure, Idaho wolf numbers remain above the line set by the 2009 federal delisting rule.
The status of wolves according to the latest monitoring data is set out in an annual report published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Much of the monitoring and data collection is performed by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
The 2013 annual summary of wolf monitoring in Idaho shows wolf numbers greater than the 150 wolves and 15 breeding pairs required to keep gray wolves off the endangered species list.
Biologists documented 107 wolf packs in Idaho at the end of 2013, fewer than the 117 documented at the end of 2012, but still the second highest documented since reintroduction. Based on evidence collected in 2013, seven additional packs were added to the 2012, bringing that total to 124 packs. Not all packs are presumed to have been documented.
Packs, Breeding Pairs
An estimated 659 wolves were associated with documented packs of wolves in Idaho at the end of 2013. In addition, 28 documented border packs were counted in Montana, Wyoming and Washington that established territories overlapping the state border and spent some time in Idaho.
Of packs investigated for evidence of reproduction, 49 were known to have reproduced. Of those, 20 qualified as breeding pairs at the end of the year.
In Idaho, wolf packs ranged from the Canadian border south to the Snake River Plain and from the Washington and Oregon borders east to the Montana and Wyoming borders. Dispersing wolves were occasionally reported in previously unoccupied areas.
Harvest by hunters and trappers accounted for 356 wolves killed in 2013. Control efforts and legal take by landowners in response to wolf depredation on livestock accounted for the deaths of 94 wolves.
Pack size was smaller, showing a mean of 5.4 at the end of 2013, about 33 percent smaller than the 8.1 wolves per pack average during the 3 years prior to the establishment of harvest seasons in 2009.
Sixteen wolf deaths were attributed to other human causes. The causes of seven wolf mortalities could not be determined and were listed as unknown.
In 2013, 39 cattle, 404 sheep, four dogs and one horse were confirmed as wolf kills. Seven cattle, nine sheep, and one dog were considered probable wolf kills.