BOZEMAN – Montana’s wolf population increased 34 percent in 2007 to an estimated 422 wolves in 73 packs, the state’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks department announced Thursday.
The wolves were equally distributed between northern and southern Montana, according to the department’s annual wolf report. But the bulk of the population growth was in northwestern and far western Montana, where it increased by about 92 wolves, to 213.
The Greater Yellowstone area saw a population increase of 14 wolves, to 209.
Some of the growth can be attributed to the birth of at least 163 pups last year, but there are other reasons as well.
“Our monitoring is getting better and we have hunters, landowners and many others taking the time to tell us where and when they see wolves or wolf sign,” said Carolyn Sime, the FWP’s wolf management coordinator in Helena.
Wolves are still listed under the Endangered Species Act. Delisting was set for late March, but lawsuits are expected to delay that.
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