Category Archives: Wolf News

Meet Shasta family – California’s first pack in 90 years!

“This news is exciting for California,” said Charlton H. Bonham, CDFW Director. “We knew wolves would eventually return home to the state and it appears now is the time.”

We are very happy to share with you the news that gray wolves were spotted in California for the first time in 90 years! (courtesy to Greenpeace for sharing this information)

California Department of Fish and Wildlife has photographed five gray wolf pups and two adults in Northern California!

This new pack is named the Shasta Pack by California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

These news are made even better in the light of the fact that in June of 2014 gray wolf was listed as endangered under California Endangered Species Act, providing security for the new pack in spite of the undergoing attempts in US Congress to remove wolves from the protection by Federal Endangered Species Act.

According to California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

“Gray wolves that enter California are therefore protected by the ESA making it illegal to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture or collect wolves, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct in California.”

Please see complete article and MORE PHOTOS at California Department of Fish and Wildlife website.

Wildlife killing contests should be outlawed in the West

On Jan. 1, a photo appeared on the front page of the Albuquerque Journal, showing a solemn-looking man standing in the desert near Las Cruces, N.M. There were dozens of dead coyotes spread out on the ground around him.

One of the topics discussed this year at Speak for Wolves is abhorrent wildlife killing contests taking place across the West. The proponents argue such contests are necessary for things like coyote ‘management’, while the science has shown repeatedly that this is not true and that non-lethal means, when necessary, provides better results and is even more cost effective.

With a few restrictions, such contests are legal in every state except California, which recently banned them. There were at least 130 such contests held in the nation between August 2013 and July 2014, according to Wildlife Conservation Advocacy Southwest, with at least 17 happening in New Mexico alone. The number of killing contests taking place on public lands is increasing.

The other aspect of these contests that we’d like to draw attention to is the ethical and mental factors such practices glorify and cultivate. As Kevin Bixby, one of this year panelists writes:

“…judging from their presence on Facebook, many clearly take an unhealthy pleasure in watching their living targets suffer and die. The cavalier way they dispatch living creatures and the glibness with which they joke about it is disturbing, especially since we know that these same people are armed and living among us.”

We invite you to read his complete article that appeared in Denver Post.

[photo credits:Denver Post]

California outlaws hunting competitions

You’ll no longer be allowed to kill coyotes, foxes, bobcats and other animals to win a prize in California. The state just became the first to outlaw such hunting competitions, according to conservationists.

According to SFGATE article published on December 5, 2014:

“The commission’s 4-1 vote Wednesday marks the first prohibition in the country against the practice of giving out prizes for gunning down coyotes and other predators, which wildlife advocates say happens almost every month in California and nearby states.

“This ruling sets a trend for the nation,” said Camilla Fox, executive director of Project Coyote, which petitioned the state to end the contests. “Our hope is that other states will follow suit and ban wildlife killing contests. Such barbaric cruelty should not be accepted or tolerated in the 21st century or in a nation that has banned such practices as dog fighting and cock fighting.”

Read the full article here.

Image credit: Coyote pups, Mesa, AZ by g’pa bill via Wikimedia under permission {{cc-by-sa-2.0}}

New wolf confirmed in southern Oregon

Wildlife officials in Oregon say a new wolf is roaming the wooded hills near Klamath Falls. It’s in some of the same territory staked out by OR-7, the famous wandering wolf.

“The area that this wolf is using is actually within an established Area of Known Wolf Activity for the Rogue Pack, OR-7’s pack. That’s the wolf that went to California,” she said. “But data from OR-7’s collar shows they have not been using this area recently.”

The area where the wolf has been confirmed is protected by both the state and federal Endangered Species Act.

Klavins says there’s a still a lot of habitat in Oregon that can support wolf populations. Wolves are slowly beginning to move in to places like Southern and Eastern Oregon.

Dennehy says ODFW has received no reports of wolf conflict in the region where it was sighted.

Read full article at PRB.ORG

Lethal control of wolves backfires on livestock

Phys.Org reports:

“Washington State University researchers have found that it is counter-productive to kill wolves to keep them from preying on livestock. Shooting and trapping lead to more dead sheep and cattle the following year, not fewer.”

“…Their study is the largest of its kind, analyzing 25 years of lethal control data from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Interagency Annual Wolf Reports in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. They found that killing one wolf increases the odds of depredations 4 percent for sheep and 5 to 6 percent for cattle the following year. If 20 wolves are killed, livestock deaths double.”

According to Wielgus: “..the wolf killings likely disrupt the social cohesion of the pack. While an intact breeding pair will keep young offspring from mating, disruption can set sexually mature wolves free to breed, leading to an increase in breeding pairs. As they have pups, they become bound to one place and can’t hunt deer and elk as freely. Occasionally, they turn to livestock.”

It is also important to remember, that according to USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service losses of cattle from wolves accounts to only about 0.2% of all cattle losses — a minor threat compared to losses from health issues, weather and even other predators.

Data source: “Cattle Death Loss,” a report by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (see chart on pg. 5)


Meanwhile, non-lethal control have shown to be exceptionally effective. According to Phys.Org:

“In an ongoing study of non-lethal wolf control, Wielgus’s Large Carnivore Lab this summer monitored 300 radio-tagged sheep and cattle in Eastern Washington wolf country. None were killed by wolves.”

Read more at:

OR7 update

In 2011, a lone male gray wolf from northeastern Oregon traveled over 1,000 miles and became know as Journey (OR-7). This marked the first gray wolf in western Oregon in over 60 years and the first gray wolf in California in over 90 years. Since that time, the wolf has found a mate and produced pups.

[photo curtesy: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife via Wikipedia Commons]