Oregon wildlife managers are reporting a new group of wolves in the upper North Umpqua and Middle Fork Willamette drainages, and say three turned up on a trail camera last month.
ODFW is calling them the Indigo wolves after the name of the wildlife management unit for this part of Lane and Douglas Counties.
The announcement follows public reports of wolf activity in the area in recent years, with biologists finding tracks last fall.
“At this time, wildlife managers have little data regarding the specifics of this new group (i.e., sex, breeding status, and specific use area) and additional surveys are needed to find out more information,” ODFW stated on its gray wolf page.
Wolves in this part of Oregon are still federally listed, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s state office touted it as further proof the species’ recovery is “going strong.”
“This follows robust recovery of gray wolves across the U.S. While the wolf had all but disappeared from the lower 48 by the early 20th century, it now roams free in 9 states and is stable and healthy at over 5000 wolves. This remarkable recovery led the Service to propose removing gray wolves from protection under ESA last week,” the agency posted on Facebook.
Robust, certainly, along with robust conflicts in some cases. Yesterday ODFW said that a wolf or wolves had killed the pup of a livestock producer further south in Oregon’s Cascades.
Its carcass was found 400 yards from his house in the Boundary Butte area, where there have been two wolf attacks on calves so far this year.
“He had last seen the dog alive at midnight that morning when he had gone outside to turn on Air Dancer wolf deterrent devices after being awakened by his dogs barking incessantly,” the state investigation report says.
The Rogue Pack and OR-7 roam in that area. The Capital Press reported that the 16-week-old mastiff was the 11th farm animal to be killed or injured by the wolves since last September.
If the proposed delisting goes through, it would mean state managers would have more flexibility in dealing with chronic wolf depredations.
There’s also another group of wolves, the White Rivers, in Oregon’s northern Cascades.