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Rare Wolf Sighting in Nevada Prompts Investigation

A wolf sighting north of Elko, Nevada, prompted an immediate investigation by state wildlife officials to determine if there are in fact wolves in the Silver State. 

In a statement, Alan Jenne, director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife, explained that while wolves occasionally cross over from the Idaho-Nevada border, Nevada is not known as a wolf habitat. 

“We are doing all we can to gather information regarding this sighting and will keep the public updated as we learn more information,” Jenne said, adding that they’ve received very few confirmed sightings. 

What prompted the investigation is that a helicopter crew spotted three wolves near Merrit Mountain on March 17 during a scheduled moose collaring project. Afterward, they relayed the information to state officials, who later discovered wolf tracks. However, those tracks seemed to be leading back to Idaho. 

Now, state biologists are trying to verify the identity of the animals by using ground surveys, installing trail cameras, collecting scat, and searching for fur samples for DNA testing. 

According to the announcement, the prompt response is to ensure that officials are complying with all state and federal rules regarding the threatened species.  

In February, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service launched a national recovery effort to grow the wolf population in the United States. As of the end of 2022, the agency estimates there to be approximately 2,797 wolves roaming the western states. 

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