For Immediate Release, August 24, 2022
Amaroq Weiss, (707) 779-9613, firstname.lastname@example.org
Video: California Wolf Who Journeyed to Oregon Likely a Father
PORTLAND, Ore.— The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife issued a report today announcing video footage of the den site of what could be a relatively new wolf family in southwestern Oregon. This is the first known modern-day instance of a California wolf dispersing to Oregon and likely starting a family.
The mated pair of radio-collared wolves are Oregon-born female wolf OR-115 and California-born male wolf LAS013, who left his birth pack in Lassen County, California and migrated to Oregon in late 2020. The video of one of the adult wolves near their den site was captured by aerial surveillance technology and shared on the department’s YouTube page.
“We’re so glad these wolves found each other,” said Amaroq Weiss, senior wolf advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The thrilling story of wolf recovery in Oregon and California is still in its infancy. Since wolves don’t use dating apps to find each other, they need other wolves in their neighborhood to keep the story going.”
This new wolf family, whose territory includes parts of Klamath and Lake counties, has not yet been given a pack name by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Whether they will count as a “successful breeding pair” for purposes of the department’s annual 2022 report depends on whether the pair has at least two pups that survive until the end of December.
Oregon’s wildlife agency issued its annual wolf report in April 2022 for the calendar year 2021. That report estimated the state’s wolf population to be 175 individuals in 21 packs, with a total of 16 successful breeding pairs. While LAS013 and OR-115 were first observed together in early 2021, they did not count as a breeding pair at that time since the department had no evidence showing the pair had reproduced that year.
This year marks the first time in which the wolves’ radio-collar signals indicated they had localized at a den-site, and this was subsequently confirmed by the aerial video surveillance. Localized radio-collar signals are frequently how wildlife agencies learn that a pair of wolves has made a den, which often indicates they have given birth to pups. The department’s report indicates the video footage will allow wildlife officials to focus their efforts to find and count any pups.
“The fact that this California-born wolf likely has pups born in Oregon underscores how essential it is for wolf populations to be legally protected and connected, and not simply relegated to isolated, postage-stamp-size recovery areas,” said Weiss. “Fortunately, we’ve managed to get federal protections restored to wolves in this part of Oregon and California, and we’ll work to ensure those protections remain in place.”
Wolves in Oregon once trekked statewide but they had been killed off by the late 1940s to appease agricultural interests. In 1999 wolves from Idaho began to make their way into Oregon, and the state’s first pack was confirmed in 2008. Wolves from Oregon began to make their way into California in late 2011, and California’s first wolf family was confirmed in 2015. Currently, California has three known wolf packs, including the pack from which LAS013 originated.
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.