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Wolf linked to livestock killings could be reproducing, officials say



Wolf linked to livestock killings could be reproducing, officials say

Conservationists said they will not remove a gray wolf believed to be linked to recent livestock killings, despite requests from livestock producers.

Two of the gray wolves reintroduced to Colorado’s Grand County in December — including one suspected of recent depredations — are likely “denning” and in the breeding process, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said Tuesday in a letter to the Middle Park Stockgrowers Board. The letter came in response to a request from the board to fatally remove two wolves suspected in the livestock attacks.

Removing the male wolf “would be irresponsible management and could potentially cause the den to fail, possibly resulting in the death of the suspected pups,” CPW Director Jeff Davis wrote in Tuesday’s letter.

In early April, the female wolf’s GPS stopped uploading location points to the server and only recently started uploading again, Davis said. Officials believe she was in the den, which interrupted the tracking collar signal and ties in with the expected timing of wolf reproduction.

CPW officers are working to confirm the location of the den.

Colorado’s first confirmed wolf depredation incident occurred on April 2 in Grand County. The second attack occurred just five days later, 60 miles north in Jackson County.

On April 18, the total number of livestock killed by wolves reached six, while conservationists confirmed two more calf attacks.