How does Idaho count wolves? Critics say state uses 'smoke and mirrors,' misleads public

March 16, 2023
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Scientists, conservationists and even Idaho students have cited a paper written by Montana State University ecology professor Scott Creel that alleged major issues with the wolf population estimate model Idaho implemented in 2019.

Critics of the technique told the Idaho Statesman the agency still hasn't addressed their concerns just before the commission is due to decide on a management plan that could reduce the state's wolf population by two-thirds. An incorrect population estimate could eventually put wolves back on the Endangered Species Act list if their numbers are allowed to drop too low.

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Critics said they view the agency's motivations as political, not scientific.