Idaho Fish and Game’s second annual wolf population estimate has documented the population was stable from 2019 to 2020, indicating that a similar number of wolves were added to the population as were removed from the population between the two estimates.
The 2020 estimate was 1,556 wolves, 10 fewer than the 2019 estimate of 1,566. The estimates are made in August at a time of the year when the wolf population is near its annual maximum.
Tracking human-caused mortality and adding estimated natural mortality through the year allows biologists to estimate the minimum population size, which occurs just before the addition of pups in March and April.
Human-caused mortality of wolves between the two August estimates was documented at 583 and was 53% higher than 382 during the previous year.
Documented human-caused mortality coupled with Fish and Game’s estimate of natural wolf mortality allows biologists to describe the annual population cycle and estimate the annual minimum population at approximately 900 wolves.