Washington state is currently home to 21 known gray wolf packs with a minimum count of 108 wolves statewide.
~ Additional wolves reside on the lands of the Colville Confederated Tribes and are managed by the tribal wildlife agency. Their numbers are not included in the state’s wolf count. ~
Definition of a wolf pack in Washington:
Under the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, a wolf pack is defined as two or more wolves traveling together in winter. A successful breeding pair is defined as an adult male and female with at least two pups that survive until the end of the year. The adults do not have to be the parents of surviving pups.
Wolves were entirely extirpated from the state by the 1930s. In the 1990s, federal and tribal biologists reintroduced native gray wolves into Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho. Descendants of these wolves, as well as wolves from British Columbia in Canada, have since naturally dispersed back into Washington. In 2008, state wildlife managers documented the first breeding pack in almost 80 years, the Lookout Pack.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reported at least 108 wolves and 21 packs (which includes at least 15 breeding pairs), as of December 2019. Wolves continue to expand their territories in the state, and to migrate in and out per natural cycles. Some Washington wolves may even be hybrid descendants of wolves that naturally recolonized from Idaho and those that migrated in from coastal or inland B.C. In any case, Washington’s wolf recovery is a result of natural recolonization. Gray wolves were not released into the state by biologists, but arrived here under their own steam.
Gray wolves are protected statewide by the Washington Endangered Species Act. Wolves are no longer protected under the federal Endangered Species Act in the Eastern Washington unit (see maps on this page, below), but remain federally protected in the rest of Washington.
Beaver Creek Pack
Butte Creek Pack
Carpenter Ridge Pack
Dirty Shirt Pack
Goodman Meadows Pack
Grouse Flats Pack
Wolf Packs that are no longer active