ODFW ODFW
ODFW Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Wolf Updates

Media inquiries about Oregon wolves:
Michelle.N.Dennehy@odfw.oregon.gov
(503) 947-6022
Wolf News Releases

2024

May 17, 2024

Deaths of wolves and other animals linked to poisoning:

Poisoning the well for outdoor recreation in northeast Oregon: Alarming incidents lead to collateral damage for wildlife, pets

Reward for information about poisoning case that killed wolves, eagles and other wildlife – Wallowa County

$25,000 reward offered for information regarding the poisoning of three gray wolves and two golden eagles in Wallowa County, Oregon

Probable depredation in Wallowa County, and lethal removal authorized in Wallowa County.

On 5/15/2024, ODFW authorized lethal removal of one wolf in the Lostine area in Wallowa County. Three depredations have been attributed to a previously unknown wolf or wolves in the southern portion of the Sled Springs WMU since March. This authorization allows removal by USDA Wildlife Services or the producer or their agent through a limited duration permit on the private land pastures of one affected producer due to continued risk despite multiple non-lethal deterrence measures. The producer has been using regular human presence patrolling day and night, removal of attractants, night penning within electromesh and in a barn, and scare devices to reduce conflict. The limited duration permit is valid until June 30, 2024, or until a wolf is removed, whichever comes first. Another update about the authorization will be posted if a wolf is removed, after June 30 if no wolves are removed, or the authorization is extended.

May 10, 2024

Confirmed depredations in Grant and Morrow Counties.

May 3, 2024

Confirmed depredations in Morrow and Wallowa Counties. 3/8/24 Grouse Flats Pack lethal permit ends, new permit issued.

No wolves were removed under the permit issued for the Grouse Flats Pack on March 8, 2024. That permit expired at midnight on April 30, 2024 and is no longer in effect. A new limited duration permit was issued to an affected producer on May 3, 2024, allowing the producer or their agent to remove one wolf on private land pastures they own or lease. Four depredation events have been confirmed since October 2023, with the most recent depredation event confirmed on April 22. The permit is valid until May 28, 2024 or one wolf is removed, whichever comes first. The producer is using scare devices and regular human presence to reduce conflict. The Grouse Flats Pack is currently estimated to include at least seven wolves. All Wolf Plan rules regarding lethal removal are in effect for this authorization and permit, including that ODFW did not identify any wolf attractants on the property. Another update about the authorization will be posted if a wolf is removed, after May 28 if no wolves are removed, or the authorization is extended.

April 26, 2024

Confirmed depredations in Morrow and Wallowa Counties.

April 12, 2024

2023 ANNUAL WOLF REPORT AVAILABLE

The minimum known count of wolves in Oregon at the end of 2023 was 178 wolves, according to the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management annual report released today. This is the same number documented in 2022 and does not include 10 wolves translocated to Colorado in 2023 to help establish a wolf population there.  

This annual count is based on verified wolf evidence (like visual observations, tracks, and remote camera photographs). The actual number of wolves in Oregon is higher, as not all individuals present in the state are located during the winter count. 

A total of 22 packs were documented (down from 24 last year), and 15 of those packs met the criteria as breeding pairs, with another 13 groups of two or three wolves also identified.  

There were four breeding pairs in Western Oregon in 2022 through December 2023. In late December 2023, three Gearhart Mtn wolves were found dead east of Bly, including the breeding female of the pack.  The loss of the fourth breeding pair in 2023 represents a setback in moving to Phase 2 in the West Zone (Western Oregon).  

Under the Wolf Plan, ODFW must document four breeding pairs for three consecutive years to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2, which offers more flexibility for responding to livestock depredation under the State’s Wolf Plan. Now the clock resets, and the earliest the West Zone can move into Phase 2 is 2027. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating these deaths and have offered a $50,000 reward for information. 

Despite this setback, wolves continued to expand their range into the West Zone in 2023. The Zone population increased by 41 percent vs. 39 percent last year.  

The total population in the East Zone is 11 less than last year, but 10 of those were the wolves translocated to Colorado to help that state establish a wolf population. Northeast Oregon's wolf population continued a stabilizing trend. Wolves are very territorial and as ODFW's wolf map shows, wolves have filled in most available habitat. Southeast Oregon habitat is not as suitable for wolves so most wolf activity in the East Zone remains in northeast Oregon. 

Parts of northeast Oregon remain livestock depredation hotspots, and managing wolf-livestock conflict continues to be challenging. Depredation increased in the East Zone by 27 percent, despite extensive use of non-lethal deterrents. 

Consistent with the Wolf Plan, livestock producers implemented non-lethal measures to minimize depredation prior to any department approval of wolf lethal removal. Sixteen wolves in five packs were lethally removed in response to chronic depredation in the East Zone in 2023.   

Statewide, livestock depredation events decreased from 2022 to 2023. 
  
“Reducing the burden on landowners and producers remains critical for the long-term conservation of wolves in Oregon,” said Roblyn Brown, ODFW Wolf Coordinator. 

In 2023, ODFW staff made process improvements to address wolf-livestock conflict which were reported to the Commission in December 2023.  

The Oregon Department of Agriculture’s (ODA) compensation program awarded grants totaling $477,661 to 11 counties in 2023. The majority of the funds (84%) were used for non-lethal preventative measures but all requests for compensation of confirmed and probable depredations were granted in full. 

ODFW remains extremely concerned about the number of confirmed poaching events and other suspicious deaths of wolves in Oregon.  
  
A wolf was found shot in 2023. In several cases still under investigation by OSP, several wolves were poisoned.  
  
“The amount of poaching and other suspicious deaths is alarming, impacts our conservation goals and could affect our ability to manage wolves in Oregon,” said Bernadette Graham-Hudson, ODFW wildlife division administrator.  
  
ODFW is working with our partners Oregon State Police, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement and the Protect Oregon's Wildlife- Turn In Poachers partnership team to address the growing concern. 
  
Collar activity showed wolves continue to disperse to western Oregon and adjacent states in 2023, again demonstrating the connectivity and long-term health of the Rocky Mountain wolf population.  

For more information see the 2023 Annual Wolf Report online at odfw.com/wolves. For photos of wolves visit ODFW’s flickr page.

New Areas of Known Wolf Activity – OR129 (Wasco County) and OR135 (Lake County).

April 5, 2024

Confirmed depredation in Wallowa County.

March 29, 2024

Confirmed depredation in Morrow County.

March 15, 2024

Confirmed depredation in Grant County.

March 11, 2024

On March 8, 2024, ODFW authorized lethal removal of up to two wolves from the chronically depredating Grouse Flats Pack in Wallowa County. The authorization allows removal by the producer or their agent (including USDA Wildlife Services at their request) through a limited duration permit until April 30, 2024 on private land pastures they own or lease. The producer requested lethal removal after three confirmed depredation events since October 2023. The producer used the “caught in the act” provision to remove two wolves from the pack on March 6; that provision allows producers to kill a wolf caught the act of biting, wounding, killing or chasing livestock. The producer is using fladry and ragboxes, removes dead livestock, kept cows with yearlings, moved livestock to more protectable areas, and increased human presence to reduce conflict. The Grouse Flats Pack primarily resides in Washington but their territory extends into Oregon and they have frequented the Flora area during the past two winters. The Grouse Flats Pack is currently estimated to include eight wolves. An update about the authorization will be posted if two wolves are removed, after the permits expires, or if the permit is extended.

March 8, 2024

Confirmed depredation in Wallowa County.

February 23, 2024

Confirmed depredation in Wheeler County.

February 9, 2024

US Fish and Wildlife Service seeks information from the public ($50,000 reward). ODFW and OSP are assisting USFWS in the investigation of three Gearhart Mountain Pack wolves found dead in late December. ODFW is aware of seven wolves remaining in the Gearhart Mountain pack including the breeding male. ODFW continues to monitor these wolves.

New AKWAs designated in Lake and Klamath Counties, and OR131 AKWA updated (Harney County).

February 2, 2024

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced on Feb. 2, 2024 a not-warranted finding for two petitions to list gray wolves under the federal Endangered Species Act in the Northern Rocky Mountains and the Western United States. The result of this finding does not change the state or federal legal status of gray wolves. The USFWS also announced they will undertake a processes to develop a National Recovery Plan for gray wolves in the lower 48 states by December 12, 2025.

Wolf removed in Bear Valley area, lethal permits for Bear Valley area and Frazier Mountain Pack end, and Murderer's Creek AKWA discontinued.

On Jan. 27, 2023 a radio-collared male wolf was lethally removed by ODFW staff in the Bear Valley area in response to chronic depredation of livestock (7 confirmed depredations since May). The Bear Valley area lethal permit provided to a livestock producer expired at midnight on Jan. 31, 2024 and is no longer in effect. Additionally, no wolves were removed under the permit authorized for the Frazier Mountain Pack on 12/21/2023. This permit also expired at midnight on Jan. 31, 2024 and is no longer in effect. Previously, there were two wolves documented in the Murderer's Creek wolves AKWA. The second wolf has not been documented for almost three months. With the removal of the radio-collared wolf, the AKWA is discontinued.

January 5, 2024

Confirmed depredation in Wallowa County and Keating Pack lethal permit ends.

No wolves were removed under the permit authorized for the Keating Pack on Oct. 20, 2023. The permit expired at midnight on Dec. 31, 2023 and is no longer in effect.


2023

December 29, 2023

Confirmed depredation in Union County.

December 27, 2023

Lethal removal permit for Bear Valley area in Grant County extended, with two wolves authorized for removal between extended permit and agency action

The lethal removal permit set to expire Dec. 31, 2023 for a producer in the Bear Valley area east of Hwy 395 in Grant County has been extended through Jan. 31, 2024. Since the original lethal removal authorization on 11/9/2023, three confirmed wolf depredations have been attributed to Murderers Creek wolves, two of which were in the Bear Valley area. As mild winter conditions persist, it is expected that wolves will continue to frequent this area and pose a risk to livestock. All conditions from the original permit remain in effect. In addition to the updated permit, ODFW staff are authorized to remove up to two Murderers Creek wolves east of Hwy 395. No more than two wolves will be removed between the producer permit and agency action. All Wolf Plan rules regarding lethal removal are in effect for this authorization and permit, including that ODFW did not identify any wolf attractants on affected properties. Another update about the authorization will be posted if two wolves are removed, after Jan. 31 if less than two wolves are removed, or the authorization is extended.

December 22, 2023

Colorado Parks and Wildlife successfully completes gray wolf capture work in Oregon

Confirmed depredations in Baker, Crook, and Grant Counties. Lethal removal authorized for Frazier Mountain Pack

On 12/21/2023, ODFW authorized lethal removal of up to two wolves from the chronically depredating Frazier Mountain Pack in Baker and Union Counties. A producer requested lethal removal after four confirmed depredation events since early November. The authorization allows removal by the producer or their agent (including USDA Wildlife Services at their request) through a limited duration permit on private land pastures they own or lease. The authorization is valid until Jan. 31, 2024 or two wolves are removed, whichever comes first. The producer impacted by recent depredations has been using increased human presence, hazing of wolves, and has moved livestock to less vulnerable pastures to reduce conflict. The Frazier Mountain Pack is currently estimated to include at least 5 wolves (including 1 juvenile). All Wolf Plan rules regarding lethal removal are in effect for this authorization and permit, including that ODFW did not identify any wolf attractants on the property. Another update about the authorization will be posted if the two wolves are removed, after Jan. 31 if less than two wolves are removed, or the authorization is extended.

December 15, 2023

December 6, 2023

OSP seeks public assistance for unlawful take of a wolf in Baker County (OSP release) and
Illegal killing of gray wolf in Jackson County, Oregon (USFWS release)

Six Black Pines Pack wolves removed, authorization ends.

Under the authorization beginning Nov. 21, 2023, ODFW staff have killed six wolves from the Black Pines Pack in response to chronic depredation of livestock.  On Nov. 29, livestock producers hazed members of the Black Pines Pack away from lower elevation private lands near where recent conflict has occurred.  On Nov. 30, wolves from the Black Pines Pack again came down into this area and depredated a calf.  Just after that, two wolves, a juvenile and a yearling, were killed and the remaining animals were chased to higher elevation forested lands away from livestock.  On Dec. 1, Black Pines wolves returned to lower elevation private lands and were again hazed by producers.  When Black Pines wolves returned to the valley on Dec. 2, an additional four wolves: one adult, one yearling, and two juveniles were killed.  The remaining wolves were again chased back onto public land.  The authorization expired with the removal of the 6th wolf and is no longer in effect.

December 1, 2023

Confirmed depredations in Crook, Klamath, and Union Counties.

November 22, 2023

Murderers Creek AKWA updated (Grant County), confirmed depredations in Baker and Klamath Counties, and lethal removal authorized for Black Pines Pack.

On 11/21/2023, ODFW authorized lethal removal of up to six wolves from the chronically depredating Black Pines Pack in Baker and Union Counties. The Black Pines Pack has been responsible for ten confirmed depredation events since late Dec. of last year, with three occurring in the last two months. The authorization allows removal by ODFW or USDA Wildlife Services. Lethal removal operations will use an incremental approach and are scheduled to conclude by Dec. 31, 2023. Efforts will focus on shifting wolf activity from lower elevation areas near the Keating Valley where recent depredations have occurred to National Forest lands where conflict is less likely. Producers impacted by recent depredations have been using regular human presence and scare devices including radios and air horns to reduce conflict. The Black Pines Pack is currently estimated to include at least 12 wolves (including at least 5 juveniles). All Wolf Plan rules regarding lethal removal are in effect for this authorization, including that ODFW did not identify any wolf attractants on the affected properties. Another update about the authorization will be posted if the six wolves are removed, after Dec. 31 if less than six wolves are removed, or the operations are extended.

November 17, 2023

Confirmed/probable depredations in Baker, Grant, Harney, and Union Counties.  One Lookout Mtn Pack wolf removed, permit ends.

Under the permit authorized on Aug. 4, 2023, one wolf (of two authorized) from the Lookout Mtn Pack was lethally removed by USDA Wildlife Services in response to chronic depredation of livestock. The adult male wolf was removed in mid Sept. on private land of one of the producers impacted, per the terms of the permit. The permit expired at midnight on Nov. 15, 2023 and is no longer in effect.

November 13, 2023

OSP F&W investigating killing of wolf – Grant County, and lethal removal authorized in Grant County

On 11/9/2023, ODFW authorized lethal removal of one wolf in the Bear Valley area east of Hwy 395 in Grant County. A producer requested lethal removal after four confirmed depredation events since late May, two of which were confirmed in the last two weeks. The depredations were attributed to the Murderers Creek pair. The authorization allows removal by USDA Wildlife Services or the producer or their agent through a limited duration permit on their private land pastures. The authorization is valid until Dec. 31, 2023, or until a wolf is removed, whichever comes first. The producer impacted by recent wolf depredations has been using regular human presence patrolling day and night, hazing, cleaning up attractants, removing injured/sick livestock from pastures, and brightly colored noisemaking devices placed within pastures with livestock to reduce conflict. The Murderers Creek pair are resident in the area of the depredations and are currently estimated to include two adults. All Wolf Plan rules regarding lethal removal are in effect for this authorization and permit, including that ODFW did not identify any wolf attractants on the property. Another update about the authorization will be posted if a wolf is removed, after Dec. 31 if no wolves are removed, or the authorization is extended.

November 3, 2023

Confirmed depredations in Baker, Grant, Jackson, and Union Counties. Beginning 11/3/2023, ODFW will continue to report Confirmed and Probable investigation determinations to inform livestock producers of potential risk where wolf/livestock conflict has been verified. Not Wolf and Unknown determinations do not provide this information, and will not be included in future wolf updates.

October 27, 2023

Confirmed depredations in Baker, Grant, and Wallowa Counties.

October 20, 2023

Confirmed depredations in Baker and Wallowa Counties, previous 10/2/2023 investigation attributed to Keating Pack, and lethal removal authorized for Keating Pack.

ODFW has authorized lethal removal of up to two wolves from the chronically depredating Keating Pack in Baker County. A producer requested lethal removal after four confirmed depredation events in the AKWA in October, including three separate events confirmed on Oct. 15. The authorization allows removal by USDA Wildlife Services and the producer or their agent through a limited duration permit on private land pastures where their livestock are present. The authorization is valid until Dec. 31, 2023, while livestock are present or until two wolves are removed, whichever comes first. The producer impacted by recent wolf depredations has been using guardian animals (dogs and donkeys), fencing, regular human presence, and fox lights to reduce conflict. The Keating Pack is currently estimated to include at least 6 wolves (including at least 3 juveniles). All Wolf Plan rules regarding lethal removal are in effect for this authorization and permit, including that ODFW did not identify any wolf attractants on the property. Another update about the authorization will be posted if the two wolves are removed, after Dec. 31 if less than two wolves are removed, or the authorization is extended.

October 13, 2023

Confirmed depredations in Baker and Wallowa Counties.

October 11, 2023

New ODFW video available, “Understanding Wolves – Dispersal

ODFW is launching a new video series about wolf biology and behavior called Understanding Wolves. The information presented is based on biological data the agency has collected over the years and will be shared in a video format for viewers to learn more about wolves.

The first video is about wolf dispersal.  This short video follows wolves, such as OR7 and OR93, as they permanently leave their birth packs, then travel long distances in their search for a mate and a new home.

October 6, 2023

Confirmed depredations in Baker and Jackson Counties.

September 29, 2023

Confirmed depredations in Grant and Jackson Counties and categories used in wolf-livestock investigations simplified.

ODFW is updating the investigation categories and definitions used to describe the findings of wolf-livestock investigations to be more concise and consistent. Criteria language for each category has been simplified with subjective and confusing words removed.

Beginning this month, findings will be categorized as Confirmed, Probable, Unknown, or Not Wolf. Previously, the categories were Confirmed, Probable, Possible/Unknown, or Other.

The last two categories created confusion. Some people interpreted the possible from Possible/Unknown as being the same as Probable. Possible/Unknown (now Unknown) means that the investigators were unable to determine if wolves were involved; this is usually due to limited carcass remains or advanced decomposition.

The previously used Other category also created confusion. Not Wolf is more descriptive, meaning investigators determine the animal’s death or injury was not wolf caused.

While the old criteria were written by USDA Wildlife Services for livestock investigations of any predator species, the new ODFW ones are adapted specifically for wolf investigations.

ODFW continues to use an evidence-based investigation process to accurately identify wolf depredations when a livestock owner believes wolves caused the death or injury of their livestock. No previous investigation determinations would have changed using the new definitions, except that those classified as Possible/Unknown would now be Unknown, and those classified as Other would now be Not Wolf.

September 22, 2023

Confirmed depredation in Wallowa County.

September 8, 2023

New Areas of Known Wolf Activity – OR131 (Harney County), OR137 (Baker County) and confirmed depredations in Klamath and Umatilla Counties.

August 31, 2023      

Update on Wildcat Pack lethal removal authorization.

Two wolves from the Wildcat Pack have been lethally removed by USDA Wildlife Service in response to chronic depredation of livestock. The wolves (a 2-year-old male and a yearling male) were removed yesterday on the private forest allotment of one of the producers impacted, per the terms of the permit. Now that the two wolves have been removed, the two permits issued for this pack are no longer in effect.

August 29, 2023      

Update on Wildcat Pack lethal removal authorization.

ODFW will issue a permit to an additional producer who requested it after a confirmed depredation on their property (Aug. 22 investigation). The permit will allow that producer or their agent (including USDA Wildlife Services at their request) to lethally remove up to two wolves on their private property. This second permit also expires Oct. 31. No more than two wolves may be taken between the two current Wildcat Pack lethal removal permits. The producer impacted had employed non-lethals prior to the depredation including a range rider and other regular human presence, and putting bells on cattle. All Wolf Plan rules regarding lethal removal permits are in effect for this permit including that ODFW did not identify any wolf attractants on the property. Another update about the permits will be posted if the two wolves are removed, after Oct. 31, or if the permits are extended.

August 25, 2023      

Confirmed depredation in Wallowa County.

August 15, 2023      

Lethal removal permit authorized for Wildcat Pack

ODFW has authorized lethal removal of chronically depredating wolves from the Wildcat Pack in Wallowa County.  Two producers requested lethal removal after three confirmed depredations in three months in the AKWA, the most recent confirmed Aug. 5. The permit allows the removal of up to two wolves on private land pastures by the permit holder’s agent (USDA Wildlife Services). The producers impacted have been using range-riders since cattle were turned out in early June, fixed wing surveillance flights monitoring cattle behavior, and moving cattle outside of normal pasture rotations to avoid wolf conflict. All Wolf Plan rules regarding lethal removal permits are in effect for this permit, including that ODFW did not identify any wolf attractants on the properties. The permit is only valid in the private lands pastures where lawfully occupying cattle are present and expires Oct. 31. Another update about the permit will be posted if the two wolves are removed, after Oct. 31 if less than two wolves are removed, or the permit is extended. The Wildcat Pack is currently estimated to number five wolves.

August 11, 2023      

Confirmed depredation in in Wallowa County

August 4, 2023

Four Five Points Pack wolves removed, permit ends and lethal permit authorized for Lookout Mtn Pack.

Four wolves from the Five Points Pack have been lethally removed by USDA Wildlife Service in response to chronic depredation of livestock. The wolves (two adult females, one adult male and a yearling female) were removed on four separate days in late July and early August on the forest allotment of one of the producers impacted, per the terms of the permit. Now that the four wolves have been removed, the permit is no longer in effect.

Additionally, ODFW has authorized lethal removal of up to two chronically depredating wolves from the Lookout Mtn Pack in Baker County. A producer requested the permit after five confirmed depredations in the AKWA since January with the most recent confirmed on July 26. The permit allows the producer or their agent (including USDA Wildlife Services at their request) to take up to two wolves on private land pastures or BLM allotments where their livestock are present. The permit is valid until Nov. 15, 2023, while cattle are present or until two wolves are removed, whichever comes first. The producers impacted by wolf depredations have been using range riders, aerial surveillance, and changes in calving timing. The Lookout Mtn Pack is currently estimated at up to 4 wolves (yearlings and adults). No reproduction has been documented in 2023. All Wolf Plan rules regarding lethal removal permits are in effect for this permit, including that ODFW did not identify any wolf attractants on the properties. Another update about the permit will be posted if the two wolves are removed, after Nov. 15 if less than two wolves are removed, or the permit is extended.

July 28, 2023

Confirmed depredations in Baker and Wallowa Counties.

July 21, 2023

Confirmed depredation in Umatilla County and lethal removal permit authorized for Five Points Pack.

ODFW has authorized lethal removal of chronically depredating wolves from the Five Points Pack in Union County. Two affected producers requested the permit after three depredation events in the past eight months, including two in the past two weeks. Each producer is receiving a permit which allows them or their agent (including USDA Wildlife Services at their request) to kill up to four wolves total on their leased private land and adjacent forest service allotment. The producers have been using range riders daily and must continue to use appropriate non-lethal measures. The permit is valid until Oct. 31, 2023 in pastures where cattle are present, or until four wolves have been removed, whichever comes first. Producers are required to promptly communicate with each other and ODFW if they take a wolf. The pack numbered 12 wolves during the winter count in January and pups were born in April.  All Wolf Plan rules regarding lethal removal permits are in effect for this permit, including that ODFW did not identify any wolf attractants on the properties. Another update about the permit will be posted if the four wolves are removed, after Oct.31 if less than four wolves are removed, or the permit is extended.

July 13, 2023

Confirmed depredations in Union and Umatilla Counties.

June 23, 2023

Confirmed depredation in Wallowa County.

June 16, 2023

Confirmed depredation in Grant County and probable depredation in Wallowa County.

June 2, 2023

Confirmed depredations in Grant, Jefferson, and Klamath Counties.

May 19, 2023

Confirmed depredations in Baker and Deschutes Counties.

May 12, 2023

Confirmed depredation in Union County.

May 5, 2023

Confirmed depredation in Baker County.

April 28, 2023

Confirmed depredation in Baker County.

April 21, 2023

Confirmed depredation in Wallowa County.

April 18, 2023

2022 ANNUAL WOLF REPORT AVAILABLE

The minimum known count of wolves in Oregon at the end of 2022 was 178 wolves, an increase of three wolves over the 2021 minimum known number of 175, according to the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management annual report released today.

A record 24 packs were documented (up from 21 last year) and 17 of those packs met the criteria as breeding pairs, with another 14 groups of two or three wolves also identified. Last year also marked the first year that four breeding pairs of wolves were documented in Western Oregon (west of Hwys 97-395).

This annual count is based on verified wolf evidence (like visual observations, tracks, and remote camera photographs). The actual number of wolves in Oregon is higher, as not all individuals present in the state are located during the winter count.

“The population increase in Northeastern Oregon has slowed in some areas as available habitat is filled up and with the turnover of breeding adults in some packs. But wolves are growing in numbers and expanding in distribution in Western Oregon,” said Roblyn Brown, ODFW wolf coordinator. “We are confident in the continued health of the state’s wolf population as they expand in distribution across the state and continue to show an upward population trend.”

At year-end there were six resident groups of wolves in the Cascades, compared to four groups last year. The number of wolves increased 39 percent in the West Wolf Management Zone (WMZ). Three new packs in the West Zone were successful breeding pairs (Gearhart Mtn in Klamath County, Upper Deschutes in Deschutes County, and Warm Springs in Jefferson County), meaning they produced at least two pups last spring that survived through the end of 2022. This was the first year that wolves in the West WMZ reached the conservation objective of four breeding pairs. If four breeding pairs are documented at the end of 2023 and 2024, the West WMZ will move into Phase II of the Wolf Plan.

Wolf activity (tracks) was documented in Curry County in the Coast Range after public reports during the fall (though no wolves were documented during the winter count). In addition, an intact radio-collar was found by an ODFW survey crew in a stream in Curry County. The collar had been placed on a Chesnimnus wolf in 2016 that later dispersed to California and last provided information in 2018. The collar was found 45 miles from where wolf tracks were documented last year and the tracks and collar are likely from different individual wolves.

ODFW confirmed 76 incidents of wolf-livestock depredation after 121 investigations, documenting the death of 71 livestock animals and three working dogs. The majority (85 percent) occurred on private land. Consistent with the Wolf Plan, livestock producers implemented non-lethal measures to minimize depredation prior to any department approval of wolf lethal removal.  Six wolves were lethally removed in response to chronic depredation in 2022.

The level of illegal wolf take in Oregon remains unacceptably high with seven wolves illegally killed in 2022. Six cases are still under investigation but USFWS Office of Law Enforcement and OSP closed the case on the shooting death of a yearling radio-collared wolf in Wheeler County in July. The gray-colored wolf was shot by a man who turned himself in and reported that he misidentified the animal as a coyote. The Wheeler County resident paid a civil fine for unlawfully taking a federally-endangered gray wolf.

For more information see the 2022 Annual Wolf Report online at odfw.com/wolves. For photos of wolves from the Metolius and Gearhart Mtn packs, visit ODFW’s flickr page.

March 31, 2023

Updates to Investigation Table to reflect new information. After monitoring the wolf radio-collared in Union Co in late February, it was determined that the new group of wolves depredating in the High Valley area of Catherine Creek WMU and the group depredating near Medical Springs (near the border of Baker and Union Counties) are the same wolves, now named the Black Pines Pack. The kill permit issued to livestock producers outside Medical Springs expires today. The permit in the High Valley area (allowing the producer or their agent to kill wolves on the single private land property where the depredations occurred) expires April 23.

A new kill permit was issued to the livestock producer in the WA139 group area after three more yearlings were killed by wolves on March 18. The old permit was canceled. The new permit allows for trapping by USDA Wildlife Services, allows the take of two wolves, and will expire April 25. All Wolf Plan rules regarding lethal removal permits are in effect for this permit, including that ODFW did not identify any wolf attractants on the producer’s property and the producer will continue using non-lethals (fladry, fox lights, RAG boxes in addition to others).

March 21, 2023

Confirmed depredation in Wallowa County and lethal control update.

A juvenile wolf from the WA139 group of wolves was shot and killed by a producer with a lethal removal permit Sunday, March 19 on the private land pasture in Wallowa County where livestock are present. This producer experienced an additional depredation Saturday morning when three yearling calves were killed by wolves in the same pasture as the previous three depredations. The producer’s permit allows for the take of one additional wolf and is valid until April 11, 2023.

March 9, 2023

Confirmed depredation in Lake County (by wolves previously named LAS13 /OR115) and lethal removal permit authorized for WA139 group of wolves

ODFW has authorized lethal removal of chronically depredating wolves from the WA139 group in Wallowa County, a group of at least five wolves that includes radio-collared WA139 from the Tucannon pack in Wash. The producer requested the permit after three separate confirmed depredations in a three-day period that killed four yearlings and injured one despite their use of non-lethals including increased human presence and hazing with a firearm. The permit allows the landowner or their agent to kill up to two wolves near their private land pasture when livestock are present. The permit is valid until April 11, 2023 or until two wolves have been removed, whichever comes first. All Wolf Plan rules regarding lethal removal permits are in effect for this permit, including that ODFW did not identify any wolf attractants on the producer’s property and the producer will continue using non-lethals (fladry, fox lights, RAG boxes in addition to other non-lethals). Another update about the permit will be posted only if wolves are removed or the permit is extended.

March 6, 2023

Confirmed depredations in Harney and Wallowa Counties. 

February 28, 2023

Second lethal removal permit for the new group of wolves in the High Valley area (Union County) in Catherine Creek WMU

With wolves continuing to be a significant risk to livestock present in the area, ODFW has issued another permit to the landowner who has had four depredations on their property since late December. The permit allows the landowner or their agent to lethally remove an additional two wolves on the private property where the previous depredations occurred. The permit is valid until April 23, 2023 or until two wolves have been removed, whichever comes first.

All Wolf Plan rules regarding lethal removal permits are in effect for this permit, including that ODFW did not identify any wolf attractants on the producer’s property and the producer must continue to use non-lethal measures. Another update about the permit will be posted only if wolves are removed or the permit is extended.

February 23, 2023

Lethal control updates: Two wolves from a new group of wolves in Catherine Creek WMU were trapped by USDA Wildlife Services yesterday on private land in Union County. One wolf was lethally removed under a permit given to the landowner who has had four depredations on their property since Dec. 25, 2022. The second wolf was radio-collared and released. (The conditions of the lethal removal permit for this producer allowed for removal of two wolves and another wolf was removed on Feb. 4.)

ODFW has also authorized lethal removal of chronically depredating wolves from a different group of wolves outside Medical Springs and near the border of Union and Baker Counties. The producers requested the permit after three separate depredation events were confirmed on their properties on Jan. 27 and Feb. 2. The permit allows the producers or their agents to kill up to two wolves on their private land pastures while continuing to use non-lethal measures (producers have increased human presence, checked livestock nightly, moved livestock to a pasture next to roads and houses, used fladry and radio to deter wolves) The permit is valid until March 31, 2023 or until both wolves have been removed, whichever comes first. All Wolf Plan rules regarding lethal removal permits are in effect for this permit, including that ODFW did not identify any wolf attractants on the producer properties. Another update about the permit will be posted only if wolves are removed or the permit is extended.

February 14, 2023

Confirmed depredation in Union County. Lethal removal permit update: A male wolf was trapped and lethally removed on Feb. 4 on private land in Union County. The wolf was trapped by USDA Wildlife Services, which was acting as an agent at the producer's request, in the same pasture where wolves had previously depredated calves.

February 3, 2023

Confirmed depredation in Union County

January 27, 2023

Confirmed depredations in Baker and Union Counties

January 12, 2023

ODFW authorizes lethal removal of depredating wolves in Union County after another depredation by a new group of wolves in Catherine Creek WMU

With non-lethal measures failing to stop depredations, ODFW has authorized lethal removal of up to two wolves in the High Valley area east of Union (Union County), an area previously used by the Catherine Pack. 

The agency will allow the landowner or their agent (potentially USDA Wildlife Services) to kill the wolves on the single private land property where the depredations occurred. The permit is valid until March 11, 2023.

ODFW confirmed three depredation events on their private land pastures on Dec. 25, 29, and Jan. 10, resulting in the death of five 10 or 11-month-old calves.  That level of depredation meets the definition of chronic livestock depredation under Wolf Plan Rules (minimum of two confirmed depredations in nine months). Lethal take can be authorized by ODFW in chronic depredation situations when there is significant continued risk to livestock present in the area and non-lethal preventative measures were used.

During one of the events, the livestock producer observed wolves standing over one of the dead calves, but was unable to shoot the wolves because they could not do so unless they caught the wolves in the act of attacking their livestock. Sometimes wolves are found scavenging on dead livestock that they did not kill. This permit will allow the livestock owner to shoot wolves while they are on the property near livestock to prevent potential for further losses, even when not actively attacking livestock.

The producer had increased human presence, fed livestock in the evening to concentrate them overnight, moved calves to a more secure pasture and employed lights and noise (including a radio and gunshots to deter wolves). After the second depredation, they also used fox lights (flashing lights) and moved the calves to another pasture closer to the road to increase visibility and human presence.

Under Wolf Plan rules, there can also be no identified circumstances on the property (such as bone piles or carcasses) that are attracting wolves. ODFW searched the immediate area for any bone piles, carcasses, or other attractants during their investigations and found none.

The producer’s cows will start calving in the next month and with even more vulnerable calves on the property, the risk to livestock may increase. Lethal action is authorized with the goal of putting an end to the chronic depredation, and the livestock producer will also continue to use nonlethal measures to reduce conflict.

Another update will be posted about this permit only if wolves are removed or the permit is extended.

2022

December 30, 2022

Two confirmed depredation events by a new group of wolves in Catherine Creek WMU (Union Co)

December 9, 2022

Confirmed depredations by Lookout Mountain Pack (Baker Co), Five Points Pack (Union Co), and Rogue Pack (Klamath Co)

December 2, 2022

Confirmed depredations by Chesnimnus Pack in Wallowa Co, and Rogue Pack and LAS13/OR115 pair in Klamath Co.

November 23, 2022

New Area of Known Wolf Activity – WA123 Pair (Morrow County) and confirmed depredations by Ukiah Pack (Umatilla Co) and OR75/OR86 wolves (Union Co)

November 17, 2022

ODFW will be rolling out a few updates and format changes to its wolf information and webpage

The most notable change will be a facelift to our primary web pages making them more user- and mobile-friendly.  Confirmed depredations will continue to be shared through its automated email listserv. For efficiency, these will be batched and sent once a week (likely Fridays). These weekly updates will focus on confirmed depredations. The department will continue to post the results of non-confirmed depredation investigations summarized in table format on the webpage but these determinations will not be included in the weekly updates through the listserv.

Based on feedback from stakeholders, these changes will continue to provide the information of interest in a timely fashion but with fewer email notifications filling email inboxes.

Also, the automated email listservs providing wolf-livestock updates and wolf program updates will be combined to reduce duplication. The mailing lists for each update have been combined and just one wolf update will be sent out.  If you are currently signed up for one of these lists, you will continue to receive updates. Each update will have a link to unsubscribe.

Thank you for your continued interest in these updates.