More Wolves Bring Hope for Recovery in California

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-wolfCredit: 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

168 comments

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill2 years ago

good news

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joan s
joan silaco2 years ago

let's hope the powers that be, don't kill these two!

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Marie W.
Marie W2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jennifer H.
Jennifer H2 years ago

Many, many good comments. Bill Eagle, Patricia Harris, Callie R., Henry M. Yes, Cal has put them on the ESA but that does not account for the severe hatred and paranoia by the ranchers and others who loath the wolves. Attending the FWS discussions in Sacramento was really eye opening as to the evil the wolves face. People were there from all across the country supporting and protesting the protection of wolves. Why would Arizona and New Mexico care if Cal were to protect wolves? But they were there. Oddly enough a Colorado ranchers’ grandson(?) was there supporting the wolves. It was a hard and divisive fight. The ranchers don't care whether they are protected and have said they will still shoot on sight. Callie and Henry made good points. The wolves are closely monitored by FWS but I don't believe it is in the interest of the wolves and I don't trust FWS to fully protect the wolves when push comes to a ranchers' shove. After all, FWS is also the most indiscriminate wildlife killer we have. Cal has farmers/ranchers as congressmen so the wolves will not receive protections from them. Patricia, I too, hope that the state stands by Cal ESA and the wolves and leaves them alone to return to the numbers they used to have. Also, some commented on the need for predators for deer and such...exactly! Look what happened in Wyoming when the wolves were killed off - the prey animals went out of control and grew unhealthy. That is here, too. Elk numbers

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Patricia Harris
Patricia Harris2 years ago

Marty Price said ''Finally a State that has a brain, heart and courage.'' Let's just hope that the state doesn't lose any of those things by the time the wolf numbers are whole again.

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Robert N.
Rob Chloe Sam N2 years ago

We need to stop the slaughter of all wolves, Why would anyone want to kill these beautiful creatures.

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STEFANIE RACKS
STEFANIE RACKS2 years ago

WHEN WILL ALL THE KILLING OF NATURE END WHEN THANKS FOR SHRING!

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STEFANIE RACKS
STEFANIE RACKS2 years ago

THANKS FOR SHARING AND CARING!

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Leanne K.
Leanne K2 years ago

I love love love this story! Beautiful!
But why o why are they killing wolves in other parts of your country? Makes no sense!

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Marty Price
Marty Price2 years ago

Finally a State that has a brain, heart and courage. Thank You California.

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