A new wolf family has been found in the Cascade Mountains by wildlife authorities from Oregon, bringing the total number of known wolf families in the Northern Cascades region to three.
Two adults and two puppies make up the family, which was identified by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife after it was discovered on the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs reservation in December. Trail cameras have been used by tribal scientists to monitor the animals. In August, there was the last sighting.
Wolf dispersal to other locations is expected, according to ODFW spokesman Michelle Dennehy. However, when wolves are localized—that is, when we are aware that they are staying put—we designate a “region of known wolf activity.”
Wasco and Jefferson counties, located about 100 miles southeast of Portland, are included in that “region.” If the pack manages to make it through the winter with at least four wolves, the department will formally rename it the Warm Springs Pack.
A whole wolf pack was poached out of Oregon in 2021.
Wolves are listed as an endangered species because there are only around 5,600 of them left in the entire United States. Oregon is also home to red wolves, which are thought to be extremely endangered. Only 25 of them are still living as of this writing.
The population of Oregon has been growing recently. However, the ascent has been gradual. Fish and Wildlife listed 173 different creatures in 2020. Only two more were present by 2021. It was the smallest growth since 2016.
However, last year saw a decrease in the number of packets. The number decreased from 22 to 21 following the deliberate poisoning of a whole eastern Oregon pack. Following that incident, poisoning also claimed the lives of numerous lone wolves. A number of environmental organizations banded together to offer an $80,000 prize for information leading to an arrest. In other words, the poacher or poachers were never found.
According to the ODFW, 21 of the total 26 deaths of wolves in Oregon in 2021 were caused by people.
The state is jubilant by the news of the recently verified pack after suffering so many losses last year. And many environmentalist organizations, including the ODFW, are hoping it’s a sign of future advancements.
According to senior wolf advocate Amaroq Weiss of the Center for Biological Diversity, “illegal wolf slaughter is widespread in Oregon.” Therefore, these creatures require all precautions. As wolves disperse into areas where they haven’t inhabited in decades, I think this will mark the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the state’s wolf recovery story.
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