Yellowstone National Park officials say an agreement with neighboring Montana that limits wolf hunting along the park's northern border is protecting the park's wolves from excessive hunting.
Yellowstone wolf biologist Doug Smith said Wednesday that Montana's 2011-12 wolf season so far has had less impact than the inaugural hunt in 2009. That year hunters killed four wolves from Yellowstone's Cottonwood pack, which had been studied for years by scientists and was popular among wolf watchers from across the country.
The killings sparked an outcry from wildlife advocates. They also prompted Montana to adjust its hunting regulations to prevent a recurrence.
Smith says four wolves shot outside the park's northern boundary this season were not from a single pack as in 2009. They also did not live exclusively in the park.