Posts Tagged ‘Wolf’

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) recently announced the discovery of a new pack of Gray Wolves living in California! Named the Lassen Pack, they are a mated pair and three young pups.

After getting reports of suspected wolf activity in Lassen National Forest, CDFW worked extensively to track their activity and were eventually able to find and capture the adult female in June of 2017. She was found to be a healthy 75 lbs and still nursing! After collecting some genetic samples and attaching a tracking collar to her, she was released. After her release, a U.S. Forest Service trail cam in the area captured photos of her with three young pups!

Lassen Pack - pups

The three pups of the Lassen Pack playing in front of a trail cam.

This is the second pack of wolves that have taken up residence in the state. In 2015-16 a pair of wolves settled down in Siskiyou County and birthed 5 pups to form the Shasta Pack. That pack has not been seen as a whole since mid-2016, but one of the pups was spotted in Nevada becoming that states first wolf visitor since 1922!

This new pack is descended from the wolves living in southern Oregon called the Imnaha Pack (the Shasta are also descended from the Imnaha Pack), and mark a new chapter in the story of wolf recovery in California.

And wolf recovery is going well in states other than California. There are currently about 1,700 wolves in the western U.S.A. Most of these animals are living in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.

It is continually exciting to see this species, that was missing from the ecosystem for so long, return to its native range.

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OR_25 May 20 2014_Imnaha PackAllow me to introduce you to OR-25, the most recent wolf visitor to the great state of California. This very handsome 3-year-old fellow recently left his Imnaha Pack in eastern Oregon. He decided to walk south and, just last week, crossed into California where he has been hanging out in Modoc County. His arrival, along with OR-7 who visited for most of 2012 before settling just north of the California/Oregon border to have babies and the Shasta Pack that has established itself in Siskiyou County in 2015, may indicate that wolves are starting a trend of dispersal and range expansion into this state. If this expansion continues, we who live in California may be lucky enough to encounter these long-lost members of our state’s wilderness. I am certainly hoping for it!

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This is a sad follow-up to my post of 2-Oct-2012 “Why the World Needs Wolves.”  This fall was the first time wolf hunting was allowed in the state of Wyoming.  Among the dead, was 832F, the alpha female of the Lamar Canyon Pack (and possibly the most famous wolf in the world).


Grey Wolf - 832F

A lovely photo of 832F by TreeHugger.


Here is a more complete article from the New York Times.



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A couple of months ago, I overheard a conversation that a small group of people were having about wolves.  It was amazing to me how uninformed these people were on wolf-related issues.  They were talking about hunting policies and were excited at the prospect of wolves being taken off the Endangered Species List leading to the lifting of those protections.  They were concerned that if someone went out to hunt a wolf, they would have a very hard time.  They seemed to be worried that if a person shot one wolf out of a pack, the rest of the pack would attack the shooter.  To clarify, this is completely untrue.  Wolves are very intelligent animals, certainly smart enough to realize they are not bullet proof.  As a result, when they hear a gunshot, they run away as fast as they can!  One of the reasons that these people were glad that wolf hunting may become legal is because of how large the wolf population has grown to.  To clarify, again, there are about 400 wolves in the whole state of Wyoming at this time.  Considering how large Wyoming is, that is a pretty low density, and Colorado, Montana, and Idaho (which are the other states that have wolf populations of any significant size) are at about the same level or lower.  A final point of discussion in this conversation was the age old, and completely incorrect, argument that by removing or reducing predators, prey populations will benefit.  This has been proven wrong over and over since the time of Aldo Leopold!
The memory of this conversation has been festering in the back of mind ever since it happened.  Wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park in the early 90s.  It is discouraging to me that even after about two decades, so much misinformation is being bandied about.  Then, yesterday, I saw on facebook that a friend had posted the article that you will find a link to below.  It is from the New York Times and discusses many of the points that I overheard being so incorrectly represented in that conversation! It does a particularly good job of discussing the last of the issues above.  Namely, why we need predators.  So, take a look at the article and get your wolf facts ready.  You never know when you might need them!


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