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More Wolf Packs in 2012

Gibbon wolf pack standing on snow;Doug Smith;March 2007

The number of wolves living in the Northern Rocky Mountain Region has been growing substantially over the past two years.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in collaboration with other federal, state and tribal agencies, Friday released the 2012 Annual Report for the Northern Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf Population. That report shows there were at least 321 confirmed packs and in the region by the end of 2012, up from 287 packs the year before. However, the actual number of animals apparently decreased by 122 during that same period. Overall, however, the US Fish and Wildlife Service says the wolf population remains well above the recovery levels identified by Service and partner biologists in the recovery plan. The original recovery plan had goals of an equitably distributed wolf population containing at least 300 wolves and 30 breeding pairs in three recovery areas within Montana, Idaho and Wyoming for at least three consecutive years. Fish and Wildlife officials say these totals were actually reached in 2002. Under the recovery plan, the US Fish and Wildlife Service is to continue to monitor the delisted wolf populations in the Northern Rocky Mountain states for a minimum of five years to ensure that they continue to sustain their recovery.

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