“While we are thrilled to learn of the presence of multiple wolves in eastern Plumas County and the possibility of a new wolf pack in this area, where only individual dispersing wolves have wandered through in the past, we are greatly concerned that these wolves have already been implicated in the death of livestock,” said Pamela Flick, California program director for Defenders of Wildlife. “This news underscores the urgent need to work closely with local livestock producers, share information about conflict reduction tools and employ non-lethal strategies to ensure that people and wolves can successfully share the landscape as this iconic native species continues to expand into its historical territory in northern California. Defenders stands ready to assist in this critically important work in any way we can.”

 

Sacramento, CA

California may have a new wolf pack located in eastern Plumas County, according to a livestock loss determination report released by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), which confirmed that the death of an adult cow was caused by a wolf attack. Trail cameras set up subsequently confirmed the presence of at least three wolves returning to the carcass over several nights.

“While we are thrilled to learn of the presence of multiple wolves in eastern Plumas County and the possibility of a new wolf pack in this area, where only individual dispersing wolves have wandered through in the past, we are greatly concerned that these wolves have already been implicated in the death of livestock,” said Pamela Flick, California program director for Defenders of Wildlife. “This news underscores the urgent need to work closely with local livestock producers, share information about conflict reduction tools and employ non-lethal strategies to ensure that people and wolves can successfully share the landscape as this iconic native species continues to expand into its historical territory in northern California. Defenders stands ready to assist in this critically important work in any way we can.”

The Shasta Pack, California’s first contemporary wild wolf pack in nearly 90 years, was first discovered in August 2015. However, all but one member of the pack subsequently vanished from Siskiyou County. Wildlife officials were never able to put a tracking collar on any members of the pack, and it remains a mystery as to why the pack either disappeared or dispersed after just a single year of occupancy in the shadows of Mt. Shasta, for which the pack was named.

This new group of wolves in eastern Plumas County is located southeast of the Lassen pack, the state’s second known family of wolves and only currently known wolf pack. The Lassen pack produced a minimum of four pups in 2017, five in 2018, four in 2019, and eight in 2020. No announcement has yet been made as to whether the Lassen pack produced pups again this year. While the Lassen pack’s original alpha male sired the 2017-2019 litters, he has not been detected with the pack since spring 2019. Genetic analysis indicated this pack’s first male was born into the first litter Oregon’s Rogue pack, which was established by OR-7, the lone wolf who rose to media fame when he crossed from Oregon into northern California in late 2011 and wandered for years before returning to southern Oregon. OR-7 was the first wild wolf known to be in California since the mid-1920s, when this native species was driven to localized extinction.
 

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With nearly 2.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit defenders.org/newsroom and follow us on Twitter @Defenders.

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