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Wolves on the Rise Throughout Oregon

Officials count at least 124 confirmed wolves—an 11 percent increase over the previous year.

Posted: Apr 12, 2018 2:25 PM
Updated: Apr 12, 2018 4:16 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Wolf packs in Oregon were thriving in 2017, according to a new report from the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW). Biologists counted 124 wolves in Oregon over the past winter—an 11 percent increase over 2016.

This number (124) is not an accurate estimate of how many wolves may be living in Oregon—which may, in fact, be much higher. Instead, the count is based on verified evidence of wolves—visual sightings, examination of tracks, and photos from remote cameras—according to ODFW.

For more information, see Oregon's 2017 Annual Wolf Report. Some highlights of the report may be seen below:

  • The 12 wolf packs documented had a mean size of 7.3 wolves, ranging from 4-11 wolves. Another nine groups of 2-3 wolves each were also counted.
  • Known resident wolves now occur in Baker, Grant, Jackson, Klamath, Lake, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa and Wasco counties.
  • 25 radio-collared wolves were monitored, including 19 wolves that were radio-collared during 2017.
  • Four collared wolves dispersed out of state (two to Idaho, one to Montana, one to Washington).
  • 13 wolf mortalities were documented, 12 of those human caused.
  • 54 percent of documented wolf locations were on public lands, 44 percent on private lands, and 2 percent on tribal lands.

“The wolf population continues to grow and expand its range in Oregon,” said Roblyn Brown, ODFW Wolf Coordinator. “This year, we also documented resident wolves in the northern part of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains for the first time.”

At the end of 2017, ODFW had documented 12 wolf packs in the state. Of those 12, 11 were considered to have successful breeding pairs, meaning that at least two adults and two pups survived to the end of the year. This is a 38 percent increase over the amount of breeding pairs in 2016.

A total of four wolves were illegally killed in 2017, according to ODFW. Two of those slayings were in areas of the state where wolves remain on the Endangered Species List.

Three of those poaching investigations are ongoing with rewards for providing information ranging from $2,500-$15,000. The fourth case—involving a wolf trapped and shot in Union County—has been prosecuted. The culprit received 24 months of probation, 100 hours of community service, a hunting license suspension, and a total of $8,500 in fines.

There were 17 confirmed cases of wolves preying on livestock in 2017, out of 66 reports. This represents a downturn in livestock killings, of which there were 24 confirmed cases in 2016.

“It is encouraging to see the continued recovery of Oregon’s wolf population into more of their historic range,” said Governor Brown. "Despite this good news, ongoing issues of poaching and livestock depredation must be carefully considered as we explore more effective management and conservation practices."

The ODFW said that they provide non-lethal measures and advice for discouraging wolf attacks on livestock. Reducing attractants by removing carcass and bone piles is thought to be the single best action to keep from attracting wolves to areas of livestock.

When non-lethal measures are ineffective, the Wolf Plan allows for lethal control against depredating wolves. Five wolves were killed to address chronic livestock depredation in 2017 (four Harl Butte wolves taken by ODFW, one Meacham wolf taken by producer with permit).

CLICK HERE for our story on an Oregon rancher who was given the go-ahead to kill two wolves recently.

The report may be viewed in its entirety below.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 66333

Reported Deaths: 826
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah15240213
Washington903896
Marion8436130
Clackamas547276
Umatilla415648
Lane389037
Jackson343623
Malheur231839
Deschutes195514
Yamhill158216
Linn127518
Polk107615
Douglas82215
Jefferson77311
Benton7197
Union7172
Klamath6854
Morrow6257
Lincoln56513
Wasco47918
Josephine4434
Columbia4383
Coos3901
Hood River3661
Clatsop3350
Baker2593
Crook1986
Grant1231
Tillamook1120
Curry1052
Lake1010
Harney871
Wallowa702
Sherman230
Gilliam210
Wheeler30
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1128219

Reported Deaths: 18753
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles3706367446
San Bernardino851761129
Riverside815651413
San Diego72815968
Orange711161554
Kern38519445
Fresno36315471
Sacramento33421546
Santa Clara31103464
Alameda27622499
San Joaquin24649503
Contra Costa22482258
Stanislaus20658418
Tulare19818303
Ventura18105174
Imperial15257355
San Francisco14542158
Monterey13887114
San Mateo13334169
Sonoma11486155
Merced10986176
Santa Barbara10946133
Kings1011586
Solano936380
Marin7560128
Placer607167
Madera588580
San Luis Obispo566435
Yolo425775
Shasta410042
Santa Cruz389627
Butte371259
Napa277817
Sutter267713
El Dorado19304
San Benito174615
Yuba173210
Lassen14803
Tehama145723
Mendocino142422
Nevada10529
Lake83418
Glenn8326
Humboldt7849
Tuolumne7848
Colusa6426
Mono4993
Siskiyou4951
Amador45016
Calaveras43421
Inyo27916
Del Norte2731
Plumas1770
Modoc1140
Trinity1140
Mariposa1122
Alpine420
Sierra170
Unassigned00
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