Oregon is now home to 22 confirmed wolf packs, according to the state’s annual wolf report. The report, released today by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), shared that the total wolf population was reported at an estimated 173 wolves. This is an increase of 15 individuals, and 17 of the 22 packs contain breeding pairs.
Sristi Kamal, Senior Oregon Representative for Defenders of Wildlife, issued the following statement:
“This past year has seen a multitude of challenges for wolves in Oregon. While increasing wolf numbers are encouraging, long-term recovery is still dependent on addressing multiple threats, including poaching and a push for predator control measures. We have an opportunity in Oregon to ensure habitat connectivity and establish a landscape where wolves and people are both able to flourish. Defenders of Wildlife is committed to working with agency staff, landowners and ranchers to make this happen.”
• The 2019 annual wolf report reported six new wolf packs in Oregon, and a minimum total population of 158 wolves. By comparison, the 2020 wolf numbers show a 9.5% increase, or 15 wolves, but has four fewer classified packs.
• Wolves continue to disperse throughout Oregon and into California, including OR-85 in November 2020 and OR-93 in February 2021. This shows that Oregon’s wolves are a critical source population for dispersing to newer territories like California and inhabiting suitable habitat.
• In 2020, two confirmed poaching incidents occurred in Baker County, which killed two wolves. Additionally, five wolves were found dead in early March. Officials are still investigating the cause of death.
• According to ODFW, the total number of confirmed depredations was 31 in 2020, but no wolves were lethally removed due to chronic wolf depredations.
• Gray wolves are classified as “special game” in Oregon, which prohibits predator control methods by private individuals.