On May 16, 2013 ODFW successfully trapped and GPS-collared an adult breeding female of the Minam Pack. The 81-pound wolf was in excellent condition and is the first radio-collared wolf in this pack. The Minam Pack was first discovered in 2012 and early information about the pack suggested that it occurred mostly within the Eagle Cap Wilderness. Managers expect that the GPS collar will allow better understanding of the pack’s use areas. This marks the 20th radio-collared wolf in Oregon.
Confirmed depredations by Imnaha pack
On May 15, 2013 a yearling cow was confirmed by ODFW to have been killed by wolves of the Imnaha pack. Evidence of at least two wolves was found at the site. In addition, GPS locations from OR4’s radio-collar confirmed that OR4 was present. On May 10, 2013 ODFW also confirmed that a small calf in the same general area had received wolf bite injuries on a hind leg. The calf was expected to survive. These are the third and fourth confirmed wolf depredation incidents by the Imnaha Pack in 2013.
Loss of collared Wenaha female
On May 11, 2013 a 55-pound yearling female wolf (OR19) from the Wenaha pack was trapped and released with a GPS radio-collar. She was caught in the Sled Springs unit where some members of the Wenaha pack have been located for more than a month. The capture went well and the wolf appeared healthy and unharmed. Following the capture, the movement data from the wolf appeared normal. However, late on May 17 the collar sent out a mortality message – a message which indicates the collar had been stationary for an extended period of time. Radio collar mortality signals do not always mean mortality, but on Sunday May 19 ODFW investigated the area and found that the wolf had died. The cause of death is unknown, but we do not suspect foul play at this time. Even so, the animal is being independently examined in an effort to learn more of the cause of death.
New pair of wolves in Mt Emily Unit
A new pair of wolves was discovered in the eastern portion of the Mt Emily Unit (Union County) in early April 2013. Field surveys which immediately followed, combined with information shared by area landowners showed that the pair – probably a male and female – visited several private land areas near the Grande Ronde Valley. More recently, however, evidence (tracks) has shown that the pair may have moved to higher elevation forest areas. Continued survey efforts will be conducted to gather more information on the pair.
Sheep depredation in northern Umatilla County
On May 21, ODFW confirmed that 6 sheep were depredated by wolves which resulted in four dead (3 lambs, 1 ewe), one injured (ram), and one missing (lamb). Wolf tracks were found in the pasture of the dead sheep, and radio-collar data showed that at least one wolf of the Umatilla River Pack was in the area on the night of the depredation. Evidence gathered showed a similar pattern of attack as the depredation events in 2012 in this same general area.
March 18, 2013
Snake River Pack wolves collared
On March 14, ODFW biologists collared and released two wolves from the Snake River pack in a helicopter capture operation. One of them (OR15) had been collared last August as a pup; biologists replaced his VHF collar with a GPS collar. The other wolf, OR18, is a year older than OR15 and was given a GPS collar also. These collars will enable biologists to better track this pack in a remote part of Oregon.
ODFW does not post daily location information on OR7 or any GPS-collared wolf. Wolves throughout Oregon are protected by the state Endangered Species Act. West of Hwys 395-78-95, wolves are also protected by the federal ESA.
OR7 may cross back into California and use areas in both states. ODFW will continue to monitor his location and coordinate with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Fish and Game.
Minam Wolf -Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
February 28, 2013
New Imnaha Pack collar; Minam/Upper Minam River determined to be same pack
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.
ODFW has recently added another breeding pair to its 2012 population estimate. Recent winter (February) surveys revealed that the Minam pack has two pups. Also, new genetic evidence from scats collected in January indicate that the Minam and Upper Minam River wolves are from the same pack, hereafter referred to as the Minam Pack. Based on this new information, ODFW is revising its earlier estimate of the Oregon wolf population to six known packs (all breeding pairs) and a total of 46 wolves.
Oregon’s minimum wolf count for 2012 is 53 wolves, including seven packs and at least five breeding pairs. (A pack is four wolves that travel together in winter. A breeding pair is two adult wolves that produce at least two pups that survive through Dec. 31 of the year of their birth.) More information.
The Oregon wolf population is determined each winter and is based on wolves that staff has verified through direct evidence (sightings, tracks, remote camera footage). The actual number of wolves in Oregon is likely greater than this minimum estimate, and the 2012 estimate may change as ODFW gains additional information over the winter.
December 19, 2012
On December 19th the yearling wolf OR16, which had recently dispersed from the Walla Walla pack, crossed the Snake River into Idaho. The 85 pound male was captured north of Elgin, Oregon on November 1 and was fitted with a GPS collar which allowed managers to quickly determine that the young wolf was part of the Walla Walla pack in northern Umatilla County. Dispersal of young wolves away from their natal pack into new areas is a normal part of wolf ecology and this is the second radio-collared wolf to disperse from Oregon into Idaho.
November 16, 2012
OR16 belongs to Walla Walla Pack
Initial data from OR16 (radio-collared on 11/1/2012) shows that he is a Walla Walla pack wolf. Satellite downloads show him travelling with OR10, another yearling from the Walla Walla pack.
DNA results for Wenaha samples
DNA analysis of wolf scats in the Wenaha pack territory confirms that OR12 is the breeding male of the Wenaha pack in 2012. OR12 is the first wolf confirmed to have been born into one pack in Oregon (Imnaha), then dispersed and successfully bred in a different Oregon pack.
OR16 -Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
November 2, 2012
OR16 radio-collared in Union County
On Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 ODFW biologists radio-collared a new wolf (OR16) in the Wenaha Unit of Northeast Oregon (Union County). The 85-pound yearling male was captured north of Elgin in an area that wolves were not previously known to occur. The wolf was captured incidentally by USDA APHIS-Wildlife Services personnel. Each year, ODFW issues an Incidental Take Permit to Wildlife Services which contains provisions to minimize the risk of incidental captures and to protect wolves if incidentally captured. The permit requires close coordination between the two agencies and in this situation the result was a successfully collared wolf released in excellent health. It is unknown at this time if the wolf is part of any of the three known nearby packs (Wenaha, Walla Walla and Umatilla River) or if it represents new wolf activity. Biologists expect that the new GPS collar will soon provide that answer.
On Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012 ODFW biologists re-captured OR10 from the Walla Walla Pack. The yearling female wolf weighed 73 lbs and was in excellent condition. She had been previously captured as a pup in October of 2011 and was fitted with a VHF telemetry collar at that time. On this capture her telemetry collar was replaced with a GPS collar which will assist ODFW in gathering much needed location data on this pack.
September 20, 2012
More wolf depredation
ODFW recently investigated two reported wolf depredations in northeast Oregon. One was confirmed as a wolf and one was determined a “probable wolf”.
ODFW investigated two reported wolf depredations earlier this week—one in Wallowa, one in Union County. The one in Wallowa County was found to be a “probable” wolf depredation while the one in Union County was determined “possible/unknown.”
The summary reports are posted at the link below, which also defines the “probable” and “possible/unknown” determinations.
ODFW confirmed pups for the Walla Walla Pack on Friday, Sept. 7 when ODFW monitoring cameras documented two black pups travelling with the pack in the upper Walla Walla River drainage. Though reproduction was expected for this pack, it had not been confirmed until Friday. The two radio-collared yearlings (OR10 and OR11) were also documented to still be with the pack. This brings the minimum known size of the Walla Walla pack to 10 wolves (8 adults, 2 pups). It also brings the known number of reproducing wolf packs in NE Oregon to six.
ODFW also recently confirmed additional livestock losses by the Imnaha wolf pack. Details at the links below:
A new wolf pack was discovered by ODFW wolf program staff in northeast Oregon on Aug. 25 when a pair of gray-colored adult wolves with five gray pups was observed in the Upper Minam River drainage. ODFW has received irregular wolf reports in the general larger area over the past several years. ODFW had been monitoring wolf activity in the Lower Minam River area since a photo of a black lactating female was taken on June 4. However, these new wolves appear to be unrelated to the lactating female as they were all gray-colored. The home range of these newly discovered wolves is unknown at this time, but represents the fifth litter of pups documented in 2012.
Umatilla River wolf pups -Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
August 15, 2012 - Umatilla River wolves
Pictures taken Aug. 2, 2012 from an ODFW remote camera show that there are at least two wolf pups with the Umatilla River pair. With four individuals in the group, it is now considered a pack.
August 9, 2012 - Wenaha Pack pup count
ODFW surveyed the Wenaha pack on Aug 9, 2012 and was able to document seven pups for the pack.
Second wolf in Sled Springs Unit
A second wolf (black) has been confirmed by ODFW in the Sled Springs unit. Surveys will continue in this area and hunter reports may help us learn more about local wolf activity as the fall progresses.
July 20, 2012 - Photo captured of wolf in Sled Springs Unit
Sled Springs Wolf -Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
An image of one wolf was taken by ODFW on July 20, 2012 in the Washboard Ridge area north of Enterprise (Sled Springs Wildlife Management Unit, Wallowa County). Tracks of two wolves were confirmed in this area over the winter and spring, so this may be an area of resident wolf activity.
Summary of genetic results from recently tested wolf samples in NE Oregon.
A scat collected in the Chesnimnus unit (Devils Run area) on May 2, 2012 was from a wolf that was born in the Wenaha Pack. It is unknown if the wolf is resident in the Chesnimnus unit or was simply passing through the area. It is possible that this is the wolf using the Sled Springs unit (mentioned above).
OR12 (Wenaha Pack, captured on April 2, 2012) is progeny of the Imnaha pack (OR2 and OR4). OR12 is believed to be the breeding male for the Wenaha Pack and ODFW is currently testing Wenaha pup scats to confirm.
In late June, ODFW surveyed an area east of the Minam River in the Eagle Cap Wilderness after a remote camera took an image of a lactating female on June 4. At least three adult wolves were confirmed through tracks, scats and howls but no sign of pups was found. A later visit on July 19 found no wolf sign or remote camera photos, so the wolves are believed to have moved out of this immediate area.
July 08, 2012 - Imnaha pack pup count
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)
Umatilla River wolf pair have pups
ODFW surveys also confirmed that the Umatilla River wolf pair have pups. Multiple tracks were found during a summer survey but the exact number of pups is still unknown.
July 03, 2012 - ODFW successfully captured and radio-collared a wolf of the Snake River Pack
ODFW successfully captured and radio-collared a wolf of the Snake River Pack yesterday (Aug. 2, 2012), the first collar for this pack. The 49-lb male pup was in excellent condition and was of a size which could easily handle the lightweight VHF collar. The collar will allow ODFW to monitor the pack in this remote portion of Oregon.
Snake River Wolf Pack Howling
-Video by ODFW-
July 01, 2012 - Pups and wolf howling video for Snake River pack
The Snake River pack has at least three pups, a July 25, 2012 survey found. Photos taken by remote camera also show at least three adults in the pack.
During this survey in the Summit Ridge area of the Snake River wildlife management unit in Wallowa County, an ODFW employee also captured video footage of one of the pups howling and other members of the pack returning the howl. See the video here. Wolves are highly social animals and howling is a common behavior that helps packs communicate and stay together. Wolf howls can be heard from several miles away.
July 27, 2012 - Depredation by Imnaha Pack
Yesterday evening, ODFW investigated a severely injured calf on a national forestland grazing allotment in the Morgan Butte area (Wallowa County) and has confirmed it as a wolf depredation (Imnaha Pack). The cattle in this forested area had been moved earlier yesterday and the calf was believed to have been attacked during the daytime following that move. This morning the calf is alive but is not expected to survive due to its injuries. An investigation summary will be posted next week.
June 27, 2012 - New wolf activity (lactating female) in Eagle Cap Wilderness
On June 25, ODFW received a trail-cam photograph of a lactating female wolf in the Eagle Cap Wilderness. The image was captured on June 4 on a camera placed by a research biologist as part of another wildlife research project. The wolf was not in an area of known wolf activity (e.g. is not believed to be part of a known wolf pack). The photo clearly shows that reproduction has occurred, but the current location and number of wolves in this area is unknown at this time. ODFW will survey the area to try and gather additional information.
OR14 -Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
June 20, 2012 - OR14 GPS collared
OR14, a wolf using the northern Mt Emily wildlife management unit, was GPS collared by ODFW in the Weston Mountain area north of the Umatilla River on June 20. The gray-colored male wolf weighed 90 pounds and was estimated to be at least 6 years old. The collared wolf is believed to be responsible for the early May depredations of sheep in the area. The new collar will allow ODFW to better understand his movements and use additional tools to help prevent further depredation. It will also help ODFW communicate with area livestock producers about his whereabouts. OR14 is one of two known adult wolves in the area, and though reproduction is suspected, ODFW has not yet confirmed pups for these wolves.
June 10, 2012 - Wenaha wolf OR13 collared
ODFW trapped OR-13, a 2-year-old wolf of the Wenaha pack, and fitted her with a GPS radio-collar on June 10. The black female weighed 85 pounds and was captured in the Wenaha Wildlife Management Unit. She was previously caught as a pup in August 2010, but at the time was too small for a radio collar.
May 30, 2012 - Imnaha, Wenaha packs have pups
Biologists observed at least four pups in the Wenaha pack on May 30. In June, reproduction was also confirmed in the Imnaha pack, with a minimum of four pups observed.
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