Wolves in northern Ferry County have attacked at least two calves and probably two more in the past several days, apparently crossing the threshold for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to consider culling the pack.
As of Friday morning, the department had not announced whether the attacks were by a known pack. It also had not issued notice that it will remove wolves. The department has pledged to give one business-day notice before targeting a pack. The notice gives environmental groups time to go to court and seek a restraining order.
Three attacks on calves were verified on Wednesday. The fourth depredation was investigated Thursday. Three calves were injured, and one was killed.
The depredations occurred in a territory formerly occupied by the Profanity Peak pack. Fish and Wildlife killed seven members of the pack in 2016 to stop attacks on cattle. The pack was no longer in existence at the end of 2017.
Another wolfpack that formerly occupied the territory, the Sherman pack, was also removed from the department’s list of packs at the end of 2017. The department shot one wolf in the pack last year to stop depredations.
Fish and Wildlife will consider lethally removing one or two wolves in a pack after at least three depredations in 30 days, according to guidance from the department’s Wolf Advisory Group. One of the three can be classified as “probable,” according to the guidance.
Fish and Wildlife shot one wolf in the Togo pack Sept. 2. The pack had been attacking cattle, also in northern Ferry County. The Center for Biological Diversity and Cascadia Wildlands obtained a restraining order Aug. 20. A judge, however, lifted the order Aug. 31, allowing the department to kill the wolf.