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ODFW to kill two wolves in response to repeated livestock losses

Update May 10, 2011

ODFW has issued eight “caught in the act” permits to livestock producers that have requested one, including two that lost livestock to Imnaha pack wolves in the past several weeks and a third that lost livestock in the past year. All have cattle operations in the area that the Imnaha wolf pack is using.

The permit allows the holder (or an appointed agent) to kill a wolf that they see “in the act of biting, wounding or killing livestock” on property they own or legally occupy.

If the permit holder kills a wolf, it must be reported within 24 hours. The wolf’s carcass must not be removed or disturbed so ODFW can complete an investigation. (ODFW must confirm the wolf actually wounded livestock so there must be fresh evidence of a wolf’s attack - visible wounds on livestock, tracks showing a chase, etc.)

The livestock producers that have been issued permits have tried non-lethal methods such as fladry, range riders, bone pile removal, hazing, and belated turnout to avoid wolf predation this year.

ODFW will issue additional “caught in the act” permits to landowners that request one who meet the requirements: livestock operations in area of Imnaha wolf pack, use of non-lethal methods to stop wolf-livestock conflict, no identified circumstance attracting wolf-livestock conflict.

Permits expire at the end of particular grazing season, when a livestock owner moves their respective livestock out of Imnaha pack area (might be mid-summer for some or late fall for others).

May 5, 2011


SALEM, Ore.The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will kill two wolves from the Imnaha pack in response to repeated livestock losses caused by the pack.

ODFW will target sub-adult wolves, not the breeding pair. ODFW will conduct the operation on private land with livestock operations, in an attempt to kill wolves that are showing an interest in livestock.

Under Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) associated with the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, ODFW may use lethal control of wolves after confirming two depredations by wolves on livestock in the area. In this case, there were two previous livestock depredations by Imnaha wolves that were confirmed by ODFW within the last week. There were also two cows killed in February, both confirmed as wolf kills.

Lethal control is used only after non-lethal methods have been tried. Landowners in the area have used electrified fladry (flagged fencing known to deter wolves), removed bone piles that can attract wolves, and installed Radio Activated Guard (RAG) boxes that emit a sound when collared wolves draw near. ODFW has been tracking wolf location information received by radio and GPS collars and a range rider is monitoring wolves and protecting livestock in the area. Wolves have also been hazed away from livestock operations. Many landowners in the area have changed grazing practices to reduce the risk of depredation by wolves.

“Our ultimate goal is wolf conservation, but we need to respond when chronic livestock losses occur,” said Craig Ely, ODFW NE region manager. “Wolves need to rely on their natural prey, not livestock.”

Wolves from the Imnaha pack were also involved in livestock depredations last year that killed six domestic animals between May and June 2010.

Wolves returned to state management

Wolves in the eastern third of Oregon will again be managed by the state of Oregon after being removed from the federal Endangered Species List today.

The wolves were delisted under legislation attached to the Federal Budget Bill that was signed by President Obama on April 15, 2011. 

The legislation, known as a rider, directed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove gray wolves from the federal Endangered Species List across five western states.

For Oregon, this affects wolves only in the far eastern third of the state (east of Hwys 395-78-95). Wolves west of this boundary remain protected by the federal Endangered Species Act, with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the lead management agency.

Wolves throughout Oregon remain protected by the State Endangered Species Act.

Wolf management in Oregon is guided by the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, first adopted in 2005 after an extensive public process and updated last year. The plan seeks to conserve wolves while protecting the social and economic interests of Oregonians.

“Wolves have made Oregon their home,” said ODFW Wildlife Division Administrator Ron Anglin. “Oregon has a Wolf Plan that allows us to meet the conservation mandate required by state law and manage the inevitable conflict with livestock and other land uses.”

With ODFW now taking over responsibility of wolf management, ranchers and livestock producers need to work directly with ODFW when wolf/livestock conflicts occur east of Hwys 395-78-95. Ranchers that see wolves on their property or suspect wolves have attacked livestock should immediately call ODFW, USDA Wildlife Services or a county official. 

Oregon currently has three wolf packs: the Imnaha (10 wolves at latest count), Wenaha (six wolves) and Walla Walla (three wolves). The Walla Walla pack is new and wildlife managers are still trying to determine their range, which could primarily be in Washington State.

More information about Oregon’s wolves is available at



Michelle Dennehy (503) 947-6022
Rick Hargrave (503) 947-6020
Fax: (503) 947-6009

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