For Immediate Release, September 17, 2021

Contact:

Amaroq Weiss, (707) 779-9613, aweiss@biologicaldiversity.org

Oregon Expands Kill Order for Lookout Mountain Wolf Pack

Latest Step Allows Killing of Pups, Yearlings, Pack’s Breeding Male

PORTLAND, Ore.— Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials have expanded orders that authorize the killing of up to six members of the Lookout Mountain pack, including yearlings and 5-month-old pups. The latest kill order could leave the pack with just a single radio-collared female adult.

The department first issued a kill order July 29 and two days later shot and killed two of the pack’s nearly 4-month-old pups. The latest order allows four livestock owners to kill two uncollared wolves from now until Oct. 31. The department also intends to kill another four wolves, including the pack’s radio-collared male, “aerially or from the ground.”

“It’s heartbreaking that Oregon wildlife officials keep resorting to extreme, deadly measures to appease a handful of livestock owners,” said Amaroq Weiss, senior wolf advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity. “No other business demands the public pay for their losses, and the state must move away from these ineffective, eye-for-an-eye lethal responses. Gunning down more wolves is not the answer.”

The Lookout Mountain wolf family currently consists of a collared breeding male and female and five 4-month-old pups. The pack may also include two yearlings, but these wolves may have left the group as they have not been seen since Sept. 1.

The mother and father wolf had seven pups in late spring. The department subsequently shot and killed two of the pups on an untested theory that this would reduce the pack’s caloric need and thus deter further conflicts with livestock.

The department issued the kill orders for the Lookout pack members for involvement in several attacks on a handful of livestock on public and private lands pastures in northeastern Oregon that have taken place since mid-July.

Nine predation incidents have occurred since then, according to the department. In five of these instances, dead or injured livestock weren’t discovered by livestock operators for anywhere from two to 21 days after the incident.

“Despite the department’s lengthy description of efforts made by these operators, there were noticeable lapses that likely worsened predation risks,” said Weiss. “Leaving dead or injured cattle in the field, at times for as long as three weeks, is completely counter-productive, since their continued presence draws in predators of all kinds. But again it will be the wolves who suffer, including pups who are far too young to even attempt to prey on cattle.”

Oregon has 1.28 million cattle and 165,000 sheep. As of the end of 2020, the department’s annual wolf report confirmed only 173 wolves in the state. Annual confirmed and probable wolf-caused losses on average amount to only 0.001% of Oregon’s livestock.

Wenaha pack 5-month_old_pups_ODFW_FPWC_Ok_for_media_use.jpg
Wenaha wolf pup. Photo courtesy of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.