BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Three of four wolves fitted with tracking collars in a central Idaho wilderness area last year by state officials without federal approval are surviving as another winter approaches.

State officials say the surviving wolves from three different packs are still roaming the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Officials say an adult female died in May due to unknown causes. The U.S. Forest Service in January issued a notice of non-compliance to Idaho Fish and Game after the state agency violated an agreement by using a helicopter to put collars on the wolves while also collaring elk.

State officials blamed miscommunication. A ruling is pending on a lawsuit filed in January to prevent Idaho from using collar data to track and kill the wolves.

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