Outside Influences

Landscape pattern
Human disturbance and prey availability are the major limiting factors for gray wolf populations. Urban and suburban development precludes wolves from living in most of western Washington, particularly in low elevation areas.

Heavy recreational use of forest lands in the western Cascade Mountains would also limit habitat availability for wolves. Deer and elk populations depend on early successional habitat for abundant forage, and little of this type of habitat is currently being created on federally-owned lands.

Because of this landscape pattern, the potential for a substantial number of wolves in western Washington is limited.