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Wyoming Wolves Killed To Prevent Livestock Loss

Jim Laybourn

Wyoming Game and Fish killed four wolves in northwestern Wyoming last week as part of an effort to control their interactions with livestock.

Wyoming was home to 311 wolves at the end of 2019, after 30 wolves were killed for control purposes throughout that year.

Large Carnivore Supervisor Dan Thompson said killing wolves is a last resort, but can become necessary as they expand their territory. He said as wolves move past wilderness areas, there is more conflict with livestock.

"That's the reality of a recovered wolf population in northwest Wyoming is that we're still going to see conflicts," said Thompson. "But our goal is to reduce those on the landscape as much as possible and also reduce those agency removals of wolves if we can."

Thompson said they have many techniques to prevent conflict with wolves.

"It's all part of multiple synergistic techniques, quite honestly, that are used together to reduce that potential for conflict which therein would reduce the potential for agency actions to remove wolves lethally," he said.

Thompson said the wolves are very good at adapting and replenishing their population.

Have a question about this story? Please contact the reporter, Ashley Piccone, at apiccone@uwyo.edu

Ashley is a PhD student in Astronomy and Physics at UW. She loves to communicate science and does so with WPM, on the Astrobites blog, and through outreach events. She was born in Colorado and got her BS in Engineering Physics at Colorado School of Mines. Ashley loves hiking and backpacking during Wyoming days and the clear starry skies at night!

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