Officials Overestimating Wolf Count?

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A conservation group says Idaho officials are overestimating the number of wolves in the state because they use sightings by hunters rather than relying solely on trained professionals.

The Center for Biological Diversity says the number of breeding wolves reported by the state is 26, a steep drop from the 49 in 2009 and a likely result of about 1,800 wolves being trapped or hunted.

But state officials say the report released April 3 by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game estimating 770 wolves as of Dec. 31 is if anything too low.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it’s confident the number of wolves in Idaho is well above the minimum 15 breeding pairs and 150 wolves required before the agency might look at taking action.