Friday, August 21, 2015

First Wolf Pack In Almost A Century Spotted In Northern California

It has been almost a century, since California last had a wold pack within its boarders.  This month, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife released photographs showing evidence of five gray wolf pups and two adults in Northern California.  Ashley and I believe that is great seeing the wolves, after reintroduction into the Yellowstone ecosystem, begin to reclaim their historic and natural habitat.  We have seen the wolves in Yellowstone on many occasions during our multiple trips there.

This is the first wolf pack seen in California since the state's gray wolf population went extinct in 1924 (almost a century).  State and federal authorities announced Thursday that a remote camera captured photos earlier this month of two adults and five pups in southeastern Siskiyou County.  They were named the Shasta pack for nearby Mount Shasta.

The wolf pack was discovered four years after the famous Oregon wandering wolf, OR-7, first reached Northern California.  Karen Kovacs of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said it was an amazing accomplishment for gray wolves to establish themselves in Northern California just 21 years after wolves were reintroduced in the Northern Rockies.  Those wolves eventually migrated into Oregon and Washington before reaching California, where they are protected by federal and state endangered species acts.

Anticipating that wolves would migrate into the state, California declared them an endangered species last year, but the state Fish and Wildlife Department does not expect to have a management plan in force until the end of this year.  The department has no goals for how many wolves might eventually live in California and no idea how many once lived in the state, she added. California's last known native wolf was killed in 1924 in neighboring Lassen County.  There are at least 5,500 gray wolves in the contiguous 48 states, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

1 comment:

  1. Pretty cool to see wolves spreading out back into places where they were once eradicated. There was a wolf spotted here in Colorado, but it didn't last long. It was shot soon after arriving here from Northern Wyoming.


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