“As wolf populations are suffering in other parts of our country, this is incredibly uplifting news for wolves in Washington. It is also a relief this male made it across such a dangerous highway unharmed. This wolf searching out new territory represents a promising step towards recovering gray wolves within their historic range.”

Zoë Hanley, Northwest representative with Defenders of Wildlife
SEATTLE, Wash.

For the first time ever, a collared wolf in Washington state successfully crossed interstate-90 into the South Cascades mountains according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). 

The 4-year-old male wolf was collared in January of 2021 and dispersed from the Naenum pack near Cle Elum and Ellensburg. 

“As wolf populations are suffering in other parts of our country, this is incredibly uplifting news for wolves in Washington. It is also a relief this male made it across such a dangerous highway unharmed,” said Zoe Hanley, northwest representative with Defenders of Wildlife. “This wolf searching out new territory represents a promising step towards recovering gray wolves within their historic range.”

Although evidence of previous wolf excursions south of I-90 has been documented, the presence of a collared wolf is significant because biologists will be able to monitor the wolf to gain valuable information about his journey and ultimate range. 

WDFW said the wolf has not settled in a territory yet but that wolves can travel hundreds of miles away from their home territory in search of a mate. They can cover up to 30 miles a day. 

Defenders of Wildlife is very involved in collaborating on research projects that address how the landscape can support these animals and how we can support human-wolf coexistence as wolves continue to occupy their former range. 
 

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.

Media Contact

Northwest Representative
Communications Specialist
hhammer@defenders.org
(202) 772-0295

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