Utah is home to diverse landscapes ranging from deserts to mountains and where every county has at least one national forest. Home to more than 600 vertebrate animals and numerous invertebrates, the state of Utah also inhabits wolves.
Along with mountain lions and bald eagles, Wolves reside in Utah as one of the animals at the top of the ecological system.
Utah is historically home to Gray wolves. Though these wolves were eradicated in the 1900s, there have been occasional sightings of these carnivores in the state of Utah.
Being top predators in their environment, wolves affect the food chain by regulating populations of other species. Therefore, as a resident of Utah, it is important to have some knowledge of the wolves especially if you reside in the areas inhabited by wolves.
Below I’ve explained all the things you need to know about the wolves in Utah.
Are There Wolves in Utah?
Yes, there are wolves in Utah. Historically, wolves were present throughout the state of Utah. They were found in all diverse habitats of Utah like forests, mountains, and deserts.
However, due to scarcity of prey, habitat loss, and bounties, the native Gray wolves were eradicated from the state of Utah in the early 1900s. This is similar to the widespread trend seen in other states of northern America.
Albeit only a few packs, there have been sightings of wolves in the state of Utah in recent times. These wolves are likely to be from populations present in nearby states. Most of the recent sightings are from the northern and eastern parts of Utah.
How Many Wolves Are in Utah?
Wolves are very mobile and often move from place to place in search of food and mate. Therefore, it’s difficult to estimate the number of wolves in the state of Utah.
However, as per the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, there are an estimated 4 to 5 packs in the state. The number is an estimate and largely depends on the time of the year, habitat quality, food availability, the human population in the area, etc.
The wolf packs are predominantly found in the northeastern and north-central parts of the state consisting of the Uinta Mountains and Book Cliffs region.
Some packs are also from the Northern Rocky Mountain population which includes wolves from Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana.
Are Wolves Protected in Utah?
In 1974, due to the widespread decline of the wolf population, the Gray wolf in Utah was listed in the Endangered species act along with the rest of the lower 48 states. And in 2003, Gray wolves in Utah along with a few western states were designated as protected by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Currently, the Gray wolves remain listed with the population being managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency is responsible to maintain, increase and protect the wolf population along with conflict resolution in case of livestock predation by the wolves.
Also Check Our Guide On Wolves In Wisconsin
Can You Hunt Wolves in Utah?
As of now, Gray wolves in Utah are listed as endangered under ESA. Therefore, it is illegal to hunt wolves in the state of Utah without a valid permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Note that getting a permit to hunt a wolf in Utah is not an easier task. Unless you are killing the wolf as an act of self-defense, any physical violence against wolves is considered a violation of Federal law.
There have been some talks in the past to delist wolves in some states. However, wolves in Utah remain protected under ESA. This may change in the future due to an increase in the wolf population, public opinion, etc.
Can You Own a Wolf in Utah?
As wolves in Utah are protected under Endangered Species Act, it is illegal to own a wolf in the state. They are designated as “restrictive wildlife” and therefore can’t be possessed, imported, or exported only under special cases and with relevant permits.
Even in the states where it’s legal, it is not recommended to own a wolf. These wild creatures can be dangerous and require special care from specialized diets to regular healthcare visits. If not properly managed and handled, wolves will pose a significant threat to humans and other animals.
Also Check Our Guide On Wolves In US
And that was everything you need to know about the Wolves In Utah. I hope this article answered your queries.
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I’m a passionate animal lover and researcher, I’ve created this website so that people can learn about the size and characteristics of different animal species. My goal is to educate and inspire people to appreciate the diversity of our planet’s wildlife.