Wandering wolf gets official pack status

his remote camera photo taken May 3, 2014, and provided by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife shows the wolf OR-7 on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in southwest Oregon’s Cascade Mountains. State and federal wildlife agencies said Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, they have designated OR-7, his mate and their pups the Rogue Pack, for their location in the Rogue River drainage in the Cascades east of Medford. It's the first pack in western Oregon and the ninth in the state since wolves from Idaho started swimming the Snake River in the 1990s. (AP Photo/Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, File)

OR-7, which briefly called California home, is no longer a lone wolf. Photo/Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

By Jeff Barnard, AP

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Oregon’s famous wandering wolf, OR-7, is now officially the leader of his own pack.

State and federal wildlife agencies said Wednesday they have designated OR-7, his mate and their pups the Rogue Pack, for their location in the Rogue River drainage in the Cascades east of Medford.

It’s the first pack in western Oregon and the ninth in the state since wolves from Idaho started swimming the Snake River in the 1990s.

As a youngster, OR-7 left his pack in northeastern Oregon in September 2011 in search of a mate. He traveled thousands of miles across Oregon and back and forth into Northern California before finding a mate last winter in the southern Cascades on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

The GPS collar that tracked his travels is still working, but biologists hope to replace it this spring.

Efforts to trap OR-7, his mate or one of the pups to put a tracking collar on them were not successful last fall, said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist John Stephenson. They hope to have better luck this May, when the pack dens up for more pups.

Even if the GPS tracking collar fails, a separate unit on the collar that emits a radio signal that can be tracked by a directional antenna should continue working, Stephenson said.

Oregon could consider lifting state Endangered Species Act protections for wolves this year if biologists confirm that four or more packs produced pups that survived through the end of the year. The earliest a proposal could go before the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission is April, said spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy. Delisting would not mean an end to protections for wolves, but would give ranchers more options for dealing with wolves that attack livestock.

OR-7 has continued to stay out of trouble as far as livestock are concerned.

Oregon’s management plan calls for protections to continue for the Rogue Pack until there are four packs in western Oregon producing pups for three years running. Federal Endangered Species Act protection also remains in force in western Oregon and California.


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Comments (11)
  1. rock4tahoe says - Posted: January 10, 2015

    OR-7 has a pack, good for them.

  2. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: January 10, 2015

    Has anyone seen a wolf in Tahoe? Either it was a pair of really large coyote or just a couple of stray dogs but the color was different than a coyote and they did’nt sound like a coyote, more of a bark and howel call as compared to yip yapping of coyotes. What it was? I don’t know. OLS

  3. nature bats last says - Posted: January 10, 2015

    YEAH FOR WOLVES! I hope they can elude gun totin rednecks.

  4. Kits carson says - Posted: January 10, 2015

    It wasn’t a wolf OLS

  5. fireman says - Posted: January 10, 2015

    Yep YEAH FOR WOLVES. They have totally decimated the elk and deer herds in Wyoming. It is awesome to see them killing the elk in the Jackson Hole Elk refuge. I could not believe the amount of dead elk everywhere. They were everywhere. These are not the same wolves that were native to the area. They are much larger some exceeding 200 pounds. Another failure of man to try and play mother nature.

  6. Hmmm... says - Posted: January 10, 2015

    Never heard of a 200 lb wolf

  7. copper says - Posted: January 10, 2015

    If you’re looking for “cuddly” animals, then you’ve spent too much time at Disneyland. Some species have found their niche as prey, as unhappy as the rest of us might find that (I’ve asked the dozen or so rabbits in my yard about that, but they don’t seem to understand the question).

    Other species have evolved as predators, and they survive off the “prey” species, who, unwittingly, serve nature by becoming available to the predators.

    Humans, being an “intelligent” and “creative” species insert themselves into this plan at will – but not always intelligently, with an eye toward how the system works. Ultimately, we become a part of the system, possibly, and ignorantly, to our detriment, or its. Or both.

    Unfortunately, however intelligent we believe we are, nature never gives any warning when it (she?) decides to switch a species from predator to prey.

    Could it be that Muslim radical terrorists have found religion as a way to convert us to prey? Could it be that the overarching concept of all religious faith is programmed to do the same thing? Nature / evolution works in mysterious ways.

  8. skysos says - Posted: January 11, 2015

    I love it when people post incorrect information to support their agendas. Statewide elk population estimates for Idaho, Wyoming and Montana show that since 1995, populations have grown in two states: Wyoming (16%), Montana (45%). Idaho’s elk declined by 9%.

  9. nature bats last says - Posted: January 11, 2015

    Fireman, I lived in idaho for 20 years working in the back country and the only wasted animals I ever saw were those poached by bad hunters. Your info. Is obviously one sided and probably part of an NRA propoganda add. Idaho has some of the most incredable wild Wilderness, undeveloped and unroaded acerage left in this country outside of Alaska. It is exactly where wild wolves should live and have protection. Too bad that state is one of the biggest political black holes in our nation. Thank goodness for the fact its mostly Federal lands. If the locals had their way there wouldnt be any protections for wildlife and wildlands. It would be a wasteland like their political leaders brains.

  10. copper says - Posted: January 12, 2015

    I’ll claim to be neutral in these debates (even while acknowledging that neutral is still a position).

    I love properly prepared deer steak. Deer have evolved as prey; the fact that they might be eaten by humans rather than some sort of wolf or cat [or Ford F-150 being often erratically driven by a human) is pretty much irrelevant on both a spiritual side (Trust me here, if you can, if there might be a God, she doesn’t really care about any of this. Check the evidence) or in the simple day to day survival of those of us who are born into this world, and try, usually with a lot of failures, to contribute to the tenuous survival of the folks, scientifically described as our species, who will try to carry on without us. Trust me: if we die happy, than we die satisfied with our contributions.

    At least we’ll be freed from feeling a need to contribute to the babbling on internet forums.