Oregon wolf population increases along with depredation rate

Remote camera photo of a wolf roaming the same area as OR7, now a member of the Rogue Pack. This is the first evidence that OR7 has found another wolf in the Oregon Cascades. Photo courtesy of USFWS.

SALEM, Ore. – The wolf population in Oregon continues to increase with at least 10% growth in the last year.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said this past winter, they’ve confirmed the presence of 137 wolves this past winter, an increase from 124.

The count is based on verified wolf evidence and is considered a minimum amount of wolves. The actual population is likely higher.

In 2017, 12 packs were documented. Over the past year, 16 packs were identified. All but one of those yielded new pups, representing a 36% increase in “breeding pairs” from the prior year.

“The state’s wolf population continues to grow and expand its range, now into the central Oregon Cascade Mountains too,” said Roblyn Brown, ODFW Wolf Coordinator.

The number of domestic animals killed by wolves has increased as well—by 65% over the last year. 28 confirmed depredation incidents were recorded.

ODFW identified the Rogue Pack, which roams between Klamath and Jackson Counties, as responsible for the most depredations,—11 in total.

“As the wolf population has expanded into new areas in Oregon, livestock producers have adjusted the way they do business to remove bone piles and incorporate non-lethal measures that can reduce the vulnerability of their livestock to depredation by wolves and other predators,” said Roblyn Brown, ODFW Wolf Coordinator. “We extend our thanks and appreciation for their efforts.”

Livestock owners who lose animals are able to be compensated through a special grant program.

You can read more about Oregon’s wolf program here: https://dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/

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