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Gray wolf population climbs in Wyoming, livestock conflicts drop

Gray wolf
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park
Gray wolf

A newly-released government report said Wyoming is continuing to meet its wolf management goals.

The 2023 Wyoming Gray Wolf Monitoring and Management annual report ( detailed healthy wolf numbers.

According to a news release from Wyoming Game and Fish, 2023 marked the 22nd consecutive year wolf numbers in the state exceeded the criteria outlined for recovery of the species in Wyoming.

Last year, according to the report, Wyoming had the lowest number of verified livestock conflicts since 2010 despite an increase in gray wolf population.

As of December 31, 2023, Wyoming had at least 192 wolves and 17 breeding pairs in the northwest portion of the state where they are classified as trophy game animals. When combined with other jurisdictions in Wyoming, the state has at least 352 wolves, 43 packs and at least 24 breeding pairs.

The report attributed the documented increase in wolves to increased recruitment of young wolves entering the population and lower mortality than noted in previous monitoring years.

The annual report is the work of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in cooperation with the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services, and Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapahoe Tribal Fish and Game Department.

Kay Erickson has been working in broadcasting in Billings for more than 20 years. She spent well over a decade as news assignment editor at KTVQ-TV before joining the staff at YPR. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a degree in broadcast journalism. Shortly after graduation she worked in Great Falls where she was one of the first female sports anchor and reporter in Montana.