USFWS investigating dead wolf in the Teanaway

USFWS investigating dead wolf in the Teanaway

Conservation Northwest / Oct 31, 2014 / Poaching, Wolves

UPDATE: November 12, 2014:

We’ve learned that the Teanaway wolf was shot and that it was the pack’s breeding female. This loss is a significant setback for wolf recovery in Washington. We will be providing a statement later this week on a substantial reward for any information that brings the person or persons responsible to justice.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a buck, bull elk or a predator, poaching is never ok. Whether one supports or opposes wolf recovery in the Northwest, illegally killing any wildlife is an unacceptable abuse of our shared natural heritage.

Conservation Northwest and WDFW provide a standing reward fund of up to $10,000 for information used to help catch poachers who illegally kill rare wildlife, like gray wolves or grizzly bears, or who take part in “spree killing” of big game and other wildlife.

INITIAL STATEMENT: October 31, 2014.

We’ve learned that a mature female wolf was found dead this week within the territory of the Teanaway Pack northeast of Cle Elum. Because wolves remain federally listed as Endangered in Washington’s Cascades, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents are investigating the incident.

“The cause of death is under investigation by the USFWS,” said Nate Pamplin, wildlife program director for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

We’re saddened by this news and will be sharing more information on the incident as soon as it’s available. 

At the southern vanguard of wolves naturally recolonizing Washington’s Cascades, the continued survival of the Teanaway Pack is critically important for successful gray wolf recovery in Washington state, particularly for the recolonization of high-quality wolf habitat in the southern Cascades and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Conservation Northwest has invested considerable time and effort in the Teanaway Valley to reduce the possibility of conflict between the Teanaway wolves and local sheep and cattle ranchers. This includes co-sponsoring range riders with WDFW to supervise livestock herds, and installing fladry around calving pastures.

In 2010, cameras operated by our volunteer Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Program were among the first to document the presence of the Teanaway Pack in the Central Cascades.

Aside from a non-lethal altercation with a guard dog in 2011, the Teanaway Pack has avoided conflict with livestock or humans, seeming content with the abundant elk, wild turkey and other natural prey found in its range in the Teanaway Valley and nearby Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

The pack is believed to consist of six to eight individuals, including the breeding pair, a minimum of one other adult, and the breeding pair’s pups.