The goal of Oregon’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan is to ensure the conservation of gray wolves as required by Oregon law while protecting the social and economic interests of all Oregonians. Minimizing wolf-livestock conflict and reducing livestock losses to wolves is an important part of the Wolf Plan.
Download ODFW Wolf Lethal Take Rules in Oregon (pdf)
Download ODFW Harassment and Take of Wolves in Oregon (pdf)
Download ODFW Wolves/Livestock General Information (pdf)
Where wolves are federally listed as endangered, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decides the appropriate response to livestock depredation by wolves. The USFWS has authority to use a variety of methods to manage any wolves which attack or kill livestock or domestic animals. Livestock producers that suspect wolf depredation in areas that are west of Hwys 395-78-95 should contact USFWS for assistance.
Wolves are listed as an endangered species under the Oregon Endangered Species Act. Responses to livestock depredation are guided by Oregon’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and associated administrative rules. In certain situations, and if non-lethal methods are ineffective, ODFW may lethally remove wolves to stop chronic livestock depredation.
Livestock producers in Oregon are encouraged to haze or scare (by making loud noises for example) a wolf away from livestock as long as the actions do not harm or injure the wolf. When depredation (or other wolf-livestock conflict) occurs, ODFW can permit livestock producers in an area of wolf-livestock conflict and east of Hwys 395-78-98 to injuriously harass wolves (e.g. haze wolves in ways that could cause injury – this includes pursuit). Hazing permits will not be issued if there are identified circumstances which attract wolf-livestock conflict. All events of hazing should be reported to ODFW within 48 hours.
Learn to recognize wolf sign and report it if you see it. Investigate livestock behavior changes. There are many causes for changes in livestock herd temperament. If you detect changes (e.g., bunching animals, animals breaking through fences, livestock reacting around working dogs) take the time to look for wolf sign. Wildlife managers regularly contact livestock producers when there is resident wolf activity in their area.
If you believe a wolf has killed or injured livestock, take the following steps:
- Do not move or disturb evidence.
- Preserve wolf tracks, hair or scat by covering with plywood, weighted-down empty coffee cans or other material that won’t ruin the evidence.
- Cover the carcass or any remains with a secured tarp to preserve them.
- Call your local ODFW office or USDA Wildlife Services (541-963-7947) or a county official immediately so an investigation can begin and a cause can be determined.
- Please note that ODFW must confirm that an incident is a wolf kill or injury in order to receive compensation under the ODA Compensation Program, or to authorize the lethal removal of wolves east of Hwys 395-78-95.
In January 2014, the Fish and Wildlife Commission passed new rules regarding lethal control of wolves by livestock producers.
Under these rules, livestock producers may take a wolf caught biting, wounding or killing livestock or working dogs, without a permit, under the following circumstances:
- Wolf is in area of Oregon where it is not federally listed (currently, east of Hwys 395-78-95).
- Wolf is on land owned or lawfully occupied by livestock producer.
- No bait or other intentional attractants are present.
- Any take of a wolf is reported to ODFW within 24 hours. The scene must be preserved and the carcass not removed.
- A livestock producer can allow an agent to take a wolf if written authorization procedures are followed.
These rules also allow for livestock producers to take wolves which are chasing livestock under the same circumstances as above, but there are two additional requirements:
- ODFW must have determined that wolves in the area are in “chronic depredation” of livestock. (Chronic depredation is defined as four confirmed, qualifying depredations within six months.)
- Livestock producer must have first undertaken non-lethal actions as defined in rule.
View the entire rule and see the current status of wolf packs
ODFW can provide technical assistance and non-lethal tools to help minimize wolf-livestock conflicts in many situations. Supplies such as fladry, fencing, and RAG devices may be available, as well as funding for carcass removal projects, range riders, and other potential practices. Producers are encouraged to contact their local ODFW office to determine funding and supply availability for their area.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture implements Oregon’s Wolf Depredation Compensation and Financial Assistance Grant Program. Participating counties form local committees which then apply for grants to compensate producers for wolf-caused losses as well as non-lethal measures. Information for this program is available by contacting your local compensation committee or the ODA Animal Health and Identification Division at (503) 986-4680.
In 2011 the Oregon Legislature created a tax credit which is defined in Chapter 65 of the Oregon Laws 2012. The credit is for the market value of livestock killed by wolves during the tax year and is available to Oregon taxpayers. To be eligible for the tax credit, livestock producers are required to fill out an Oregon Wolf Depredation Tax Credit Application and submit to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). ODFW will review the application for evidence that the loss was due to wolf depredation and, if so, will issue a written certification that the taxpayer is eligible to claim the credit.