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A video taken by ODFW on Nov. 12, 2009 in the Imnaha Wildlife Management Unit (east of Joseph, Ore. in Wallowa County) shows at least 10 wolves make up a pack that ODFW has been monitoring since June 2008. The video was taken from an adjacent ridge across a canyon and shows a mixture of gray and black individual wolves moving upslope.
“ODFW has been regularly monitoring this pack but until this video was taken, we only had evidence of a minimum of three adults and three pups making up the pack, says Russ Morgan, ODFW wolf coordinator. “Pups can be difficult to distinguish at this distance, but it appears there may be as many as six pups in the video.
Wolf litters generally average around five pups, but more is not uncommon,” he added.
The alpha female of the pack is B-300, a wolf first observed in Oregon in January 2008. Her radio collar stopped working in Fall 2008 but ODFW re-collared her in July 2009 and wildlife managers continue to track her and other members of the pack.
ODFW will continue to monitor this pack and another pack in the Wenaha Unit (Wallowa County) to count their pups during the month of December. For a pack to be defined as a “breeding pair” (an important step in wolf conservation) it must produce at least two pups that survive to December 31 of the year of their birth.
Under Oregon’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, the Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider delisting wolves from the Oregon Endangered Species List when four breeding pairs for three consecutive years have been documented in eastern Oregon.
The video is more evidence that wolves are establishing themselves in northeast Oregon.
Wolves throughout Oregon are protected by the State Endangered Species Act., They are also protected by the Federal Endangered Species Act west of Highways 395/78/95.
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