By Renny Mackay
Laramie, WY – The number of wolves in Wyoming went down in 2008. That's while the overall population of wolves in the Northern Rockies went up.
The head of the wolf recovery effort for the US Fish and Wildlife Service is Ed Bangs. He says the drop in Wyoming was due to a disease that hit the wolves in Yellowstone National Park.
Bangs thinks the number of wolves in the park might increase in 2009, but otherwise he says Wyoming's wolf population will stay flat: "We've been pretty aggressive in controlling problem wolves in Wyoming. When they're in an area that has had chronic problems and we know it is just not going to stop we've been pretty good about going in early and taking those wolves out and I think the proof of that is we've managed to hold livestock depredations-- actually the last two years are half what they were in 2006."
Bangs says Wyoming saw a decrease in the number of livestock killed by wolves while the other states saw an increase.