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Winter Nature Nights: Wolf Recovery in Oregon
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Winter Nature Nights: Wolf Recovery in Oregon

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Wolves have returned to Central Oregon for the first time in more than half a century. Learn more about these charismatic mammals from John Stephenson, the US Fish & Wildlife biologist in charge of …

Wolves have returned to Central Oregon for the first time in more than half a century. Learn more about these charismatic mammals from John Stephenson, the US Fish & Wildlife biologist in charge of wolf recovery in Oregon.

Published in: Education, Travel, Technology
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  • 1. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Jan 2012 Wolf Recovery in Oregon
  • 2. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • 3. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • 4. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service The Northern Rocky Mts. Recovery Program 1980: Recovery Plan is published – 3 Recovery Areas – Recovery Criteria: 10+ breeding pairs in each area for 3 consecutive years 1994: Release of EIS for Reintroduction – Revised Recovery Criteria: 30+ breeding pairs & 300+ wolves across the 3 areas, with genetic interchange between areas.
  • 5. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Reintroduction to Central Idaho & Yellowstone NP Jan 1995: Wolves released – 15 in Central Idaho – 14 in Yellowstone NP Jan 1996: 2nd release – 20 more in Central Idaho – 17 more in Yellowstone NP
  • 6. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • 7. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service The Northern Rockies Population Grows… 1999
  • 8. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service • 2-yr old female found near Baker City, OR in Feb 1999 • Kept heading west into the Middle Fk, John Day R. Basin • Caught Oregon by surprise! In 1999, A Wolf Comes to Oregon! She was captured & returned to Idaho on March 26, 1999, where she raised pups & survived for many years in the McCall area. Her skeleton was found in a meadow in Oct. 2006. B45
  • 9. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Other Early OR Explorers In 2000, a year after B45, two other Idaho wolves were found in Oregon. Unfortunately, both were found dead, one shot and one hit by a car on I-84. B45
  • 10. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service A Period of Few Wolves, & Productive Planning 2001-2005: 0 confirmed wolves 2004/2005: ODFW develops & approves a Wolf Management Plan for Oregon
  • 11. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service The Northern Rockies Population Takes Off… 2005
  • 12. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 1,513 wolves at end of 2007
  • 13. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Feb. 2007: 1st Proposed Rule Mar. 2008: Goes into effect DELISTED July 2008: Injunction on rule LISTED AGAIN To be continued… NRM DPS Distinct Population Segment
  • 14. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 2006 - Black Wolf Caught on Video, Becomes TV Celebrity • July 2006 on Zumwalt Prairie, Wallowa County • This wolf was seen several times that summer & then disappeared. • Same area later occupied by the Imnaha Pack
  • 15. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 2007/08 – Discovering Oregon’s 1st Pack! May 2007: Mushroom pickers found a dead wolf. A female wolf, originally from Idaho, had been illegally shot. Winter 2007/08: Wolf tracks found during snow surveys. July 2008: Adults & pups heard howling! Remained unseen until Aug. 2010 when one was finally captured & radio-collared! Wenaha Pack
  • 16. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service B300 • In Jan. 2008, this 2-yr old collared wolf from Idaho shows up in the Wallowa Mts. • Her radio-collar died in the Fall of 2008.
  • 17. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service The Honeymoon Ends in Keating Valley
  • 18. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 2009 Keating Valley Incident Apr. 13: Photos confirm 2 wolves killed 23 lambs. Apr. 16: Fladry fencing is put up around several pastures to protect livestock from further attacks. May 3: A young male wolf, OR1, is captured & radio-collared. May 4: Wolves are federally delisted in this part of Oregon. May-Aug: ODFW repeatedly hazes the wolves away from the valley. Aug 26-27: Wolves return to same ranch; kill a goat & 3 lambs. Sep 3: Kill order is issued by ODFW and the 2 wolves are removed. OR1
  • 19. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service B300 becomes OR2 & founder of the Imnaha Pack July 2009: B300 is recaptured by ODFW and fitted with a new radio- collar. She weighed 77 lbs and it was evident that she’d had pups earlier in the year. OR2
  • 20. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Nov. 2009: Video footage shows 10 wolves trailing through the snow. Feb. 2010: Three more Imnaha wolves are radio-collared, including the alpha male (OR4). Rise of the Imnaha Pack OR3 OR4 OR5
  • 21. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Imnaha Pack – 2010 May 2010: Five confirmed livestock depredations occur in short succession between May 5th & the 31st. All are on private ranchlands and all are cow calves. June 2010: After a 6th confirmed depredation, and extensive efforts to control the problem with non-lethal techniques, a kill order is issued to remove two wolves. Wildlife Services is unsuccessful in its wolf removal efforts as the pack moves back up into the forest. July 2010: Four new pups observed. Dec 2010: 15 wolves counted in aerial survey!
  • 22. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Efforts to Protect Livestock • Regular updates to ranchers on locations of collared wolves. • Clean up of old bone piles & carcasses that attract wolves. • Hazing with aircraft and cracker shells • Electrified Fladry Fencing • Radio-activated noise boxes • Range Rider Program
  • 23. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Chronic Depredation • Sometimes non-lethal control techniques don’t solve the problem. • Selective lethal control has been proven to reduce depredations & resolve problems while not significantly slowing wolf recovery. • Lethal control is controversial and often triggers legal challenges.
  • 24. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Wenaha Pack Aug 2010: 2-yr old male (OR6) is radio collared Sep 2010: OR6 found dead; illegally shot • Pack has remained small (4 to 6 individuals) • No livestock depredation problems!! • Two pups in 2010; At least 1 in 2011 The Low Profile Pack OR62010 pup 2011 pup
  • 25. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Wenaha Imnaha
  • 26. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Wallowa Valley “Wolf Highway”
  • 27. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Imnaha Pack – 2011 Feb.: Three more wolves radio-collared (OR7, OR8, OR9). OR8 died several days after capture. Mar./Apr.: Extensive efforts undertaken during calving season to prevent livestock loss. Late-Apr/May: Depredations resume after turnout to larger pastures. May: ODFW removes two subadult wolves after repeated livestock losses. Sep.: Pack shrinks to 4 or 5 members as OR3, OR5, OR7, OR9 disperse. Only one pup seen with pack. Sep/Oct.: Several more depredations. ODFW announces plan to remove 2 more wolves, but is challenged in court & an injunction is granted. Dec.: 5 more depredations have occurred since the injunction was granted on Oct. 5th.
  • 28. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service An Example of the Fallout
  • 29. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service OR7’s Famous Journey
  • 30. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service From the British Tabloid, The Daily Mail
  • 31. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • 32. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • 33. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • 34. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • 35. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • 36. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • 37. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • 38. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Other Westward Wanderers Santiam Pass, Jan. 2009
  • 39. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service OR3
  • 40. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Jul-Aug May Sep. 30
  • 41. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Pack #3: Walla Walla • Tracks 1st observed in Jan. 2011 • Trail cam photos in Aug/Sep 2011 • Two pups collared in Oct. 2011 OR10 OR11
  • 42. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Pack #4: Snake River
  • 43. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Feb. 2007: 1st Proposed Rule Mar. 2008: Goes into effect DELISTED July 2008: Injunction on rule LISTED AGAIN May 2009: Rule reissued DELISTED Aug. 2010: Court invalidates rule LISTED AGAIN May 2011: Rule reinstated by Congress DELISTED NRM DPS Continued…
  • 44. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service NRM DPS Wolf Population spills into OR & WA 2010
  • 45. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • 46. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Hwy 395 - The DPS Boundary
  • 47. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Known Wolf Packs in Washington Northern Rocky Mountain DPS
  • 48. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service New Teanaway Pack in Central Washington Cascades
  • 49. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service STATUS REVIEW Wolves in the Pacific Northwest • Initiated in May 2011 • Assess biological status of wolves in region • Assess conservation potential in region • Due for release by end of February 2012
  • 50. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Pacific Northwest Wolf Habitat Models
  • 51. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Key Needs for the Future • Ability to Manage Problem Situations • Realistic Recovery Criteria o PNW can’t support an NRM-size Population • Compensation Program for Livestock Depredations • More Cooperation & Tolerance, Less Vitriol & Litigation
  • 52. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Depredation Compensation • Defenders of Wildlife no longer has comp. program • Oregon recently approved a program under the Dept. of Agriculture. It is just getting started & requires county participation. • Washington’s Wolf Plan also includes a compensation program.
  • 53. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Thank You John Stephenson U.S Fish and Wildlife Service 541 312-6429 john_stephenson@fws.gov
  • 54. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

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