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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.

Confirmed Cases: 11454

Reported Deaths: 232
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah273072
Marion177053
Washington176420
Umatilla9377
Clackamas92527
Union3682
Lincoln3625
Malheur2861
Lane2813
Deschutes2370
Yamhill1799
Jackson1730
Linn17210
Polk17112
Jefferson1600
Klamath1311
Morrow1311
Wasco1061
Benton1056
Hood River1030
Douglas580
Clatsop550
Josephine551
Coos520
Columbia470
Lake240
Crook181
Tillamook160
Wallowa130
Baker90
Curry90
Sherman30
Harney20
Gilliam10
Grant10
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 310885

Reported Deaths: 6955
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1274393744
Riverside24765537
Orange22650412
San Diego18863420
San Bernardino18275304
Imperial7759132
Fresno762787
Alameda7485147
San Joaquin627968
Kern619597
Santa Clara5863166
Tulare5678152
Sacramento515279
Contra Costa446088
Stanislaus436450
San Francisco431650
Ventura409353
Santa Barbara386829
San Mateo3846112
Marin336430
Kings285539
Monterey241918
Solano207528
Merced179312
Sonoma156114
Placer102111
San Luis Obispo9054
Madera8578
Yolo83928
Santa Cruz5373
Napa4774
Butte3384
Sutter3374
San Benito3112
El Dorado3070
Lassen2610
Shasta1766
Humboldt1654
Glenn1640
Nevada1631
Yuba1633
Lake1081
Mendocino1070
Colusa1030
Tehama981
Calaveras670
Tuolumne640
Del Norte600
Mono491
Siskiyou410
Amador360
Inyo341
Mariposa311
Plumas170
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
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