For Immediate Release, October 4, 2019

Contact:

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

Wolf Pups Born to Indigo Pack in Western Oregon

Further Wolf Recovery Depends on Endangered Species Protection

PORTLAND, Ore.— At least four pups were born this year to Oregon’s Indigo wolf pack, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today. The agency also announced that it recently radio-collared one of the pups, which is nearly six months old.

Evidence of the pups’ arrival came from a trail-camera photo taken in August. Earlier this year a survey of Oregon’s wolves documented three adult wolves in that pack.

“It’s heartwarming to see photos of this wolf family running through the forests of western Oregon, but we’ve got to keep them protected,” said Amaroq Weiss, senior West Coast wolf advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity. “If we want these wonderful animals to survive and flourish, we have to ensure the Trump administration doesn’t take away their Endangered Species Act safeguards.”

In March the Trump administration issued a proposal to strip wolves of federal protections in Oregon and across much of the rest of the nation. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown wrote to federal officials indicating that the state of Oregon officially opposes the proposed delisting.

“Fortunately these wolves live in a part of the state where they’re still protected under federal law,” said Weiss. “The survival and recovery of wolves here depends on those protections remaining in place.”

Oregon’s wildlife agency estimated the wolf population at the end of 2018 to be 137 individuals in 16 packs, with a total of 15 breeding pairs. Most packs reside in northeastern Oregon. Besides the Indigo wolves, only two other packs, the Rogue pack and White River pack, reside west of highways 97, 20 and 395.

The Indigo pack ranges in Lane and Douglas counties, the Rogue pack lives in Jackson and Klamath counties, and the White River pack ranges in Wasco and Clackamas counties and on the Warm Springs reservation. An additional lone wolf lives in Lake County.

Background
Wolves in Oregon once roamed statewide but were killed off to appease agricultural interests, with bounty records showing that Oregon’s last known wolf was killed in 1947. In 1999 wolves from Idaho began to make their way into Oregon, and the state’s first pack was confirmed in 2008.

Wolves lost protection under the Oregon Endangered Species Act protection statewide in 2015, and a lawsuit brought by the Center and allies challenging that action is still pending in court. Wolves lost federal protection in eastern Oregon in 2011 through an act of Congress, and though the western two-thirds of the state still retain federal protection, that protection is at risk from the pending Trump administration delisting proposal.

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Photo of Indigo adult and pups taken in August 2019. Credit Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.