Wolves poached in northeast Washington

OLYMPIA, Wash - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is investigating two suspected wolf poaching incidents in northeast Washington, and a conservation group is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to convictions.

WDFW Police Capt. Dan Rahn said one case involves the killing of a female wolf in Ferry County, whose carcass was found Dec. 5 by department personnel approximately 15 miles southwest of Republic. 

The wolf had been wearing a radio collar, attached by WDFW biologists in 2016 when it was a member of the Profanity Peak pack.  Biologists said she was not associated with any pack when she was killed.  Rahn said the collar had stopped transmitting location data in early November.

The second investigation stems from the discovery by hunters of a dead wolf on Nov. 12 about 10 miles southeast of Colville in Stevens County, he said. That wolf, a breeding female, was discovered within the range of the Dirty Shirt pack and is presumed to be a member of the pack.

Rahn said both investigations remain active, and the department encourages anyone who might have relevant information to contact WDFW at 877-933-9847 or 360-902-2936. The illegal killing of a wolf or other endangered fish or wildlife species is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

Conservation Northwest, one of the groups that partners with WDFW on wolf conservation and management, has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to convictions in these cases.

Gray wolves are listed as endangered under state law throughout Washington. In the western two-thirds of the state, they are also listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.