The Imnaha Pack was first documented in 2009. The packs’ long-time breeding female (OR2) was not with the pack in 2014. In her place a new breeding female produced only one known pup and by year’s end no surviving pups were observed despite multiple observations of the pack. Therefore the pack was not counted as a breeding pair. Two radio-collars (1 GPS, 1 VHF) remained in the pack – OR4 (breeding male) and OR25 (other male). The pack showed a use area of 958 mi2 in 2014 and 26% of the pack’s location data points occurred on private land, a decrease from 32% in 2013. Two depredation incidents were attributed to this pack in 2014.
The Imnaha Pack was first documented in 2009. Confirmed depredation attributed to this pack in 2013 was 4 cows killed and four injured – the same as 2012. By mid-summer, the signal of the radio-collared breeding female (OR2) was not located, and she was not observed to be part of the pack at the end of the year. The pack produced 7 pups in 2013, but none were documented since late fall despite multiple observations of the pack. Therefore the pack was not counted as a breeding pair. Two GPS radio-collars remained in the pack, the breeding male and a subadult female. The pack showed a use area of 740 mi2. During 2013, 32% of the pack‟s location data points occurred on private land, an increase from 15% in 2012 and 29% in 2011.
February 4, 2014 –
ODFW Collars OR4 – Again
The breeding male of the Imnaha pack (OR4) was aerially darted and radio-collared by ODFW on Feb. 1, 2014. The wolf’s previous GPS collar quit functioning in late December and this was the first time the wolf was in an area where he could be safely darted. The new GPS collar is the fourth applied to this particular wolf. While ODFW would not normally re-collar an individual wolf so many times, this particular wolf’s collar has been helpful with managing depredation in the area. “ODFW has plenty of location information about the Imnaha pack, but this wolf is important to continue to track in order to assist area livestock producers facing depredation,” said Russ Morgan, ODFW wolf coordinator.
February 28, 2013 – New Imnaha Pack collar
On Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 ODFW biologists radio-collared a new Imnaha Pack wolf (OR17). The 76-pound young female wolf was captured inadvertently by a local trapper who immediately notified ODFW when he discovered the wolf. ODFW was able to collar and then safely release the wolf in good condition. Under Oregon Furbearer Regulations, trappers should contact ODFW immediately if a wolf or other endangered animal is trapped. The trapper did exactly what he was supposed to do in this case.
January 16 – The ending year-2012 wolf count for the Imnaha pack is 8 and Imnaha are a “breeding pair” for 2012. More information.
August 1 – The Imnaha Pack has at least six pups this year, a July 8 survey on US Forest Service lands southeast of Joseph found. There may be more pups but this is the most up-to-date number for the pack. (See photo of pups)
July 12 – Four environmental groups (Cascadia Wildlands, Oregon Wild, Hells Canyon Preservation Council, Center for Biological Diversity) filed a lawsuit against ODFW in State Circuit Court in Multnomah County. The lawsuit alleges that ODFW violated the state Endangered Species Act, Oregon Administrative Rules and Administrative Procedures Act when it authorized lethal removal of wolves.
July 2 – USDA Wildlife Services suspends its pursuit of two wolves from the Imnaha pack, while a federal judge considers the request for an injunction against the action filed by four environmental groups. ODFW authorized Wildlife Services to kill the two wolves.
June 29 – ODFW files a temporary rule change with the Secretary of State’s office that changes the OAR language guiding lethal responses to wolf-livestock depredation. The rule changes are as follows (old or deleted language is strike-thru text, new language is bold and underlined). The new rule (pdf)
(6) Lethal take to deal with chronic depredation.
(a) ODFW may authorize its personnel, authorized agents, or Wildlife Services, to use lethal force on wolves [anywhere] at a property owner or permittee’s request if:
(A) ODFW confirms [that the property or an adjacent property has had] either:
(i) two confirmed depredations by wolves on livestock in the area; or
(ii) one confirmed depredation followed by [up to three] an attempted depredation[s] (testing or stalking) in the area ;
Wolves are territorial animals that can range over hundreds of square miles. Recognizing that wolves do not observe property boundaries, the new rules clarify that ODFW can authorize lethal force against wolves when they are repeatedly attacking livestock within an area. (Lethal measures can still only be taken after non-lethal measures have been unsuccessful and where no unreasonable conditions exist to cause wolf-livestock conflict.)
Adding the term “in the area” to i and ii clarifies that the rules are to be used for a situation in a particular area, not throughout the state. Replacing “up to three” with “an” does not change the intent of the rule but accounts for situations where there are more than three attempted depredations.
Under state law, ODFW may adopt a temporary rule which the Fish and Wildlife Commission needs to ratify at its next meeting (July 16, 2010 in Salem). Temporary rules are in effect for 180 days from the time they are filed with the Secretary of State.
June 25 – ODFW extends Wildlife Services authorization to kill two wolves through August 31. Wolves are still being observed in the target area. Cattle are also still in the area and could be for a number of months.
Members of this wolf pack are responsible for killing at least six domestic animals (calves and cows) which is considered chronic livestock depredation under the Wolf Plan. The Wolf Plan authorizes state and federal agencies to use lethal control to stop chronic wolf-related depredation.
The same criteria apply to this authorization as to previous authorizations (terms). Collared wolves cannot be killed. Also, the action is limited to an area where previous losses have occurred and to private property with livestock activity.
By killing the two wolves, wildlife managers hope to send a message to the pack to not kill livestock and change the pack’s behavior.
June 17 - ODFW extends Wildlife Services authorization to kill two wolves for an additional week under the same terms.
Pack activity appears to have shifted upslope to more forested area. ODFW is continuing with the lethal authorization and the associated target area in an effort to remove wolves that return to the upper Wallowa Valley to prey on livestock.
Update on pack: The GPS collar of the alpha male of the pack has not been detected since May 31, despite a thorough aerial search. Collars can malfunction—for example, B-300's (the alpha female) radio collar stopped working and she was not located for months. The alpha male could be dead or he could have left the area (though leaving the area would be atypical behavior for an alpha male wolf). ODFW and OSP will continue to investigate the whereabouts of the alpha male.
June 9 – ODFW extends the Wildlife Services authorization for the killing of two uncollared wolves through June 18, 2010 (it was set to expire June 11).
Three more “caught in the act” permits have been issued in the past week to landowners who are in the area of recent depredations, bringing the total number of these permits to nine.
June 5 – ODFW expands the area where USDA Wildlife Services is authorized to kill two uncollared wolves. Wildlife Services is still limited to private pastureland with livestock activity or where ODFW has previously confirmed that wolves have killed livestock.
June 4 – ODFW confirms an additional calf was killed by wolves, bringing the total confirmed livestock losses to wolves in upper Wallowa Valley area since May 5 to six.
May 29-31 – With chronic livestock depredation occurring, ODFW authorizes Wildlife Services to kill two uncollared wolves from the Imnaha pack. (By killing only uncollared wolves, ODFW can protect the collared alpha male and alpha female, Oregon’s only confirmed breeding pair of wolves at this time, and continue to monitor wolf activity through the collars.) ODFW also confirms an additional two wolf kills of livestock in the upper Wallowa Valley area and provides “caught in the act” permits to the landowners involved, bringing the total number of these permits to seven. More information
May 28 – ODFW confirms third calf killed by wolves in upper Wallowa Valley area. More information Week of May 23 - ODFW issues five “caught in the act” permits to the two landowners that experienced a confirmed wolf attack on their livestock and three landowners between those two properties. Per Oregon Administrative Rules (pdf) associated with the Wolf Plan, after ODFW confirms livestock losses by wolves and non-lethal efforts have been ineffective, ODFW provides ranchers with these permits.
The permits will allow landowners to shoot any wolf “caught in the act” of biting, wounding or killing (but not testing or scavenging) livestock. The purpose of these permits is to assist the landowners in protecting their livestock, not to set a number of wolves to be killed—e.g. this does not necessarily mean that five wolves will be killed.
May 21 - ODFW and USDA Wildlife Services confirm second cow calf killed on private property about 10 miles east of Joseph in the upper Wallowa Valley area. More information
May 5 - ODFW and USDA Wildlife Services confirm that a calf was killed by wolves on private property in the Zumwalt area of Wallowa County. More information
March 26-present – ODFW and USDA Wildlife Services work with ranchers in the upper Wallowa Valley area to implement non-lethal deterrents to protect livestock from wolves including: burial of livestock carcasses that can attract wolves; radio telemetry monitoring of wolves; installation of a radio activated guard device; aerial hazing of wolves; the hiring of a wolf technician to monitor wolf activity; and increased presence around livestock by ranchers.
March 26 - Members of the Imnaha pack found within a small fenced cow pasture near a ranch house and successfully hazed away by landowners. Event triggers heightened concern among the upper valley ranching community due to large numbers of cows and calves present at this time of year (calving season).
February-March 2010 - GPS data collected by ODFW shows that the GPS-collared wolf (alpha male) and presumably the other members of the pack are occasionally using ranchlands in the upper Wallowa Valley area. Radio and GPS data show the eastern portion of the upper valley is part of the territory of this pack.
February 2010 - Three additional members of Imnaha pack are captured and radio collared by ODFW including the alpha male, which is collared with a GPS collar that stores location information every six hours. More information
Imnaha Wolf Pack
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
November - ODFW captures film footage of Imnaha pack and documents 10 members. More information
Summer –Evidence is found that B-300 mated and produced her first litter of pups in 2009. Original radio collar is non-functioning and in July she is recaptured (trapped) by ODFW and fitted with a new radio collar. This allows ODFW to monitor the location of the new pack.
May 4 – Wolves in the eastern third of Oregon (east of highways 395, 78 and 95) are de-listed from the federal Endangered Species Act. Wolves in this area remain protected by Oregon’s ESA, while wolves west of the boundary remain protected by both the federal and state ESA. While wolves are protected by only the state ESA, ODFW is the lead management agency.
January – B-300, the current alpha female of Imnaha pack, is visually observed in northeast Oregon. B300 is an Idaho collared wolf that dispersed to Oregon. More information