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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: 206851

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40371614
Washington26781248
Marion23425323
Clackamas18932235
Lane13908164
Jackson11535146
Deschutes1001882
Umatilla859387
Linn561181
Yamhill478279
Klamath477678
Polk399356
Douglas388483
Malheur361463
Josephine360672
Benton326522
Jefferson237039
Coos216637
Columbia192129
Union149924
Wasco144430
Lincoln143021
Crook129223
Hood River121633
Morrow115416
Clatsop10589
Baker101115
Curry71011
Tillamook6604
Grant5507
Lake4678
Harney4339
Wallowa1945
Gilliam801
Sherman671
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3809710

Reported Deaths: 63356
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124774424456
Riverside3016684627
San Bernardino2992894845
San Diego2818103771
Orange2730575113
Santa Clara1201632188
Kern1107991404
Sacramento1078211736
Fresno1029471724
Alameda896591277
Ventura816611031
San Joaquin747271440
Contra Costa70730813
Stanislaus634971070
Tulare49776849
Monterey43836432
San Mateo42681581
San Francisco37269556
Santa Barbara34613455
Solano33762266
Merced32313478
Sonoma30884317
Imperial28855741
Placer23589299
Kings23195247
San Luis Obispo21421261
Madera16638245
Santa Cruz16246208
Marin14206230
Yolo14160212
Butte12668194
Shasta12630233
El Dorado10396116
Napa1002680
Sutter9663113
Yuba648951
San Benito610963
Lassen578424
Tehama573463
Nevada491975
Humboldt449948
Mendocino434050
Tuolumne421271
Amador374047
Lake356345
Glenn243427
Siskiyou239637
Colusa228418
Calaveras220756
Del Norte14588
Inyo143438
Mono12954
Plumas7366
Modoc5585
Mariposa4657
Trinity4225
Sierra1160
Alpine890
Unassigned280
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Brookings
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