State wildlife officials have confirmed that three pups were born in the spring to a pair of wolves that have been monitored during the past two years in the Lookout Pack territory.
“We’re pretty sure there are at least three pups. We saw them on two or three different occasions,” said Scott Becker, wolf biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Becker said the wolves were observed this summer, most recently in August, while biologists attempted to trap and place radio collars on the adult wolves.
Donny Martorello, WDFW carnivore manager, said the traps were investigated by the wolves, but they avoided being caught.
“It looks like the adult male is smart and pretty wise,” he said.
Wildlife officials will try to collar the adults during the winter if possible, when it’s easier to track the wolves and spot them from the air with helicopters, Martorello said.
He said the breeding pair is believed to be members of the original Lookout Pack, which was confirmed in 2008 as the first wolf pack known to be living in Washington since the 1930s.
Comment period extended on gray wolf proposal
The public comment period on a proposal to remove the gray wolf from the federal list of threatened and endangered species has been extended until Oct. 28.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced it would extend the comment period on proposed rules to remove the gray wolf’s federal protection in Washington state and elsewhere, with the exception of the Mexican wolf in the Southwest, where it remains endangered.
In June, the service proposed rules regarding the threatened and endangered listing status of the gray wolf. The proposals involve delisting the gray wolf by 2014.
Fish and Wildlife has also announced a series of public hearings to provide stakeholders an opportunity to comment.
The first public hearing will be held Sept. 30 in Washington, D.C. Meetings will also be held Oct. 2 in Sacramento, Calif., and Oct. 4 in Albuquerque, N.M.
To learn more about the proposed rules, the details of the public hearings, and for links to submit comments to the public record, visit www.fws.gov/graywolfrecovery062013.html.