Idaho wolf population drops estimated 13%

Wolf Photo credit: Robert Larsson & Unsplash

Idaho Fish and Game reports that the state’s wolf population decreased by about 13% from 2021 to 2022. This is in accordance with Fish and Game’s plan to reduce the wolf population to 500.

“Wolf population reduction has been a priority of the Fish and Game Commission,” said Idaho Fish and Game Director Ed Schriever. “There’s been a concerted effort by Fish and Game staff, hunters, trappers and other partners and agencies to reduce wolf conflicts with livestock and bring the wolf population in balance with prey species, particularly elk.”

This year, Idaho saw the lowest wolf mortality rate of the past four years. 486 wolves died in 2021, 477 in 2020 and 585 in 2019. Most wolf deaths come from hunting and trapping.

Idaho’s wolf management plan will be available for public review and comment throughout February at various locations. Rexburg’s session will take place Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. at Madison Middle School in the library.

Fish and Game uses remote trail cameras to monitor wolf population. Idaho was the first state to use cameras for this purpose, beginning in 2019. In the summer of 2022, crews set up 533 cameras and collected about 10 million photos. They used artificial intelligence to identify wolves in photos and applied various mathematical formulae to calculate the estimated population.

For more information, see the Fish and Game press release.