By Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
LA GRANDE, Ore. – A joint effort by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife specialists resulted in the capture, radio-collaring, and release of a male wolf on Sunday morning, May 3, at approximately 7 a.m. PT. The event marks the first radio-collaring of a wolf in Oregon.
The wolf captured and radio-collared was an 87-pound male estimated to be about 2 years old. The track size and a second, smaller wolf seen at the capture site indicate that the wolf is one of two involved in several livestock depredations in the Keating Valley area of Baker County over the past few weeks.
The male wolf was trapped about 2.5 miles from the ranch house where this pair of wolves attacked a calf on April 17. Tissue samples were taken from the wolf for genetic analysis.
USFWS and ODFW had been attempting to trap these wolves since mid-April, after confirming the first known livestock depredation by wolves since they began their return to Oregon in the late 1990s.
The radio collar will be used as a tool to help prevent further livestock losses. ODFW staff will be monitoring the radio collar to determine the wolves’ movement patterns and alert ranchers to wolf activity in the area. They can also be used with RAG (radio activated guard) boxes, which emit loud noises when a radio-collared wolf approaches.
As of today (May 4, 2009) wolves in the eastern portion of Oregon (east of highways 395, 78 and 95) are “de-listed,” or removed from protection under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Wolves in this area remain protected by Oregon’s ESA, while wolves west of the boundary remain protected by both the federal and state ESA.
Oregon’s Wolf Management Plan provides livestock producers and wildlife managers with specific tools to respond to wolf depredation. For more information, see ODFW’s wolf Web page or call ODFW’s La Grande office at (541) 963-2138.
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