Gray wolves, Canis lupus, are reestablishing populations across the West. Since 2008, gray wolves have come into Washington State on their own four legs. By the beginning of 2016, Washington State Department of Wildlife (WDFW) biologists had documented 18 wolf packs throughout the State. Already, a number of rancher/wolf conflicts have occurred, leading to the destruction of three wolf packs, either partly or completely, in northeastern Washington in Stevens County, in October, 2012, in 2014 and in August of 2016.
The main emphasis of the Western Wildlife Outreach Gray Wolf Outreach Project is to provide information and techniques on how to successfully coexist with wolves utilizing sound science and to employ up-to-date non-lethal wolf management measures whenever possible. We provide science-based information on wolves and wolf behavior to communities, schools and at frequent tabling events.
WWO has initiated two new wolf-based carnivore outreach efforts. Project WOLFF (Wildlife Observational Learning and Fieldwork Fundamentals) in partnership with the Woodland Park Zoo, the Cle Elum School District, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Project WOLFF is developing curriculum for K-12 involving student field investigations and scientific recording and reporting around large carnivores, their prey and carnivore/human interactions.
In 2014, WWO partnered with WDFW and with Washington State University Extension offices in the development of rancher outreach program for addressing carnivore conflicts. This is an ongoing effort.