Media inquiries about Oregon wolves:
Wolf News Releases
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.
December 30, 2022
Two confirmed depredation events by a new group of wolves in Catherine Creek WMU (Union Co)
December 15, 2022
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.