A one-minute, 32-second video posted on ODFW’s Web site shows a pack of 10 wolves moving up a snowy slope in eastern Wallowa County last Thursday.
The video was shot by state wildlife biologist Pat Matthews, and written about in the Baker City Herald today.
“ODFW has been regularly monitoring this pack but until this video was taken, we only had evidence of a minimum of three adults and three pups making up the pack,” Russ Morgan, the state’s wolf coordinator, says in a statement on ODFW’s site. “Pups can be difficult to distinguish at this distance, but it appears there may be as many as six pups in the video.”
There’s a second pack elsewhere in the county, towards the Washington border. ODFW officials will try to count each pack’s pups next month.
“For a pack to be defined as a ‘breeding pair’ (an important step in wolf conservation) it must produce at least two pups that survive to December 31 of the year of their birth. Under Oregon’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, the Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider delisting wolves from the Oregon Endangered Species List when four breeding pairs for three consecutive years have been documented in eastern Oregon,” ODFW says.