Conservationists decry Northwest wolf poaching

Wildlife groups believe Northwest wolf poaching has increased in the past year and a half.

February found four dead wolves in northeastern Washington. In 2021, eight wolves were poisoned in eastern Oregon, & eight were poached in Idaho.

Small, but up from past years. Between 2017-2020, Oregon had 10 wolf poachings. 

From 2017-2021, Washington experienced no wolf poachings. Idaho lacks 2017-2019 data, although three wolf poachings were confirmed in 2020.

Experts say wolf poaching is likely considerably greater. Cases are hard to solve because they occur in distant, rural places where a criminal can bury a wolf.

“Shoot, shovel, and shut up” is a common phrase in these villages, said Sophia Ressler of the Center for Biological Diversity, which collated the numbers.

"For every verified poaching, there are certainly several more," Ressler said.

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