Oregon has at least 158 wolves
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
April 17, 2020
State wildlife biologists counted 158 wolves in Oregon this past winter, a 15 percent increase over last year’s count of 137, according to the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management 2019 Annual Report.
This annual count is based on verified wolf evidence (like visual observations, tracks, and remote camera photographs) and is considered the minimum known wolf count, not an estimate of how many wolves are in Oregon. The actual number of wolves in Oregon is likely higher, as not all individuals present in the state are located during the winter count.
A total of 22 packs were documented during the count, up from 16 packs in 2018. (A pack is defined as four or more wolves traveling together in winter.) Nine other groups of 2-3 wolves were also identified. Nineteen of Oregon’s wolf packs successfully reproduced and had at least two adults and two pups that survived through the end of 2019, making them "breeding pairs," a 27 percent increase over last year’s number.
"The state’s wolf population continues to grow and expand its range, with three new packs in the Blue Mountains south of Interstate 84," said Roblyn Brown, ODFW Wolf Coordinator.
Seven wolf mortalities were documented during the year, including one of disease and five wolves struck by vehicles. In March, a livestock producer in Baker County lawfully shot one of four wolves that was chasing his herding dog close to his house.
Wolves are protected as a special status game mammal in Oregon and were delisted statewide in 2015 under the Oregon Endangered Species Act (ESA). Wolves occurring west of Oregon Highways 395/78/95 continue to be federally listed as endangered under the federal ESA.
Although the state’s annual wolf report doesn’t tally up all the cost of monitoring, management, and compensation, from the figures provided in the report, state agencies spent at least $875,000 on wolves in Oregon in 2019, or about $5,538 per known wolf.
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