Washington wolf population grows by 32 percent

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- The number of wolves in Washington state grew by about 32 percent last year.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife's annual survey found at least 90 wolves in the state by the end of 2015. That was up from at least 68 wolves counted in 2014.

The survey released Monday confirmed at least four new wolf packs in Ferry, Okanogan, Pend Oreille and Stevens counties. There are now 18 wolf packs and at least eight breeding pairs.

Gray wolves were all but eliminated from Western states in the last century, but are now recovering in several states.

The state says there were fewer conflicts between wolves and livestock than in the previous year. Wolves were responsible for killing seven cattle and injuring one guard dog. Seven wolves died for various reasons.

Researchers used aerial surveys, remote cameras, wolf tracks and signals from radio-collared wolves to count the animals.