Archive for the ‘New pair joined Shasta Pack’ Tag

More Wolves Bring Hope for Recovery in California   2 comments

November 5, 2016 by: Alicia Graef

Wildlife officials have officially confirmed a new pair of wolves in the northeastern part of the California, which has brought more hope that their presence will be restored in the state.

Wolves once ranged widely throughout California but were persecuted, shot, poisoned and otherwise eradicated from the landscape almost a century ago. That changed in 2011 when a lone wolf wandered down from Oregon and became the first known wolf to venture into the state since 1924.

The return of that wolf, OR-7, helped clear the way for the safe return of others of his kind. His appearance sparked widespread curiosity and support for wolves. Wolves were later protected under the California Endangered Species Act, which makes it illegal to harm, harass or kill them in the state.

Last year, California saw its very first official wolf pack after almost 100 years. But OR-7 has long since returned home to Oregon and has settled down and started his own family.

Now, it looks like OR-7′s son is carrying on his legacy as a far-ranging adventurer.

According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), genetic testing of scat samples released this week have confirmed that the male in the newly discovered pair is one of OR-7′s pups who was born in 2014.

Although it’s not known where the female originated, officials suspect she may have dispersed from another western state.

lassen-wolf

Credit: California Department of Fish and Wildlife

The two now join members of the Shasta pack as residents of the state, who were the first to be confirmed last year in Siskiyou County, but the whereabouts of that pack are currently unknown. While there’s currently no evidence the latest arrivals have had any pups this year, they may yet become the state’s second official pack.

“This is another landmark day for wolf recovery in California,” said Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer for the Center for Biological Diversity. “Scientists have long said California has great wolf habitat; wolf OR-7 proved that with his historic travels here between 2011 and 2014, and now his son and his son’s mate are helping create a legacy. The female in California is particularly exciting because she’s bringing genetic diversity that’s essential for achieving long-term recovery for wolves in the Golden State.”

Photo credit: Thinkstock

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