When are trapped wolves "taken'?

  The Bozeman-based Predator Project has asked the federal Animal Damage Control agency to stop trapping coyotes after a gray wolf was found dead in a trap on a Montana ranch. The wolf, which had wandered from a pack in Glacier National Park, died from overheating in late August. Wolves in Montana are protected under the Endangered Species Act. But the ADC, which helps ranchers control predators, is permitted one "incidental taking" of a wolf per year in Montana. Predator Project's Tom Skeele says ADC exceeded the limit because it trapped another wolf several weeks earlier, although that wolf was later released. He says the act's definition of "taking" includes trapping and harassing. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which investigates all wolf kills, should re-evaluate the effects of ADC's activities before trapping continues, Skeele says. But Fish and Wildlife officials disagree and claim the released wolf should not be counted.

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