Oregon’s Gray Wolf Population Remains Stable

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 27, 2014

Suzanne Stone, Defenders of Wildlife; sstone@defenders.org; (208) 861-4655

Salem, Ore. – The number of endangered gray wolves living in Oregon shows a slight increase from the previous year, according to the official winter count released this week by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). This year’s count tallied 64 wolves, an increase of 16 individuals from the 2012 year-end population. The ODFW also reported four breeding pairs. Oregon’s wolf population is determined annually based on verified sightings of wolves, thus these numbers represent the minimum wolf population in Oregon.

Suzanne Stone with Defenders of Wildlife issued the following statement:

“The stability of Oregon’s wolf population is good news, as wolves are dispersing farther westward and are now residing in the Umatilla National Forest under the watch of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla. Yet, the total number of wolves in the state is very low. This count reinforces that wolves are still only just beginning to gain a foothold in Oregon, and that wolves have not yet dispersed in adequate numbers into other parts of Oregon with suitable wolf habitat.

“But Oregonians should indeed be proud. Their wolf population has remained stable because, unlike Idaho where state officials continue to wage a scorched earth war against wolves, the state of Oregon is committed to developing and implementing balanced management policies for the species. Oregon has implemented a number of nonlethal management strategies that are effective in keeping wolves away from livestock and which allow management of sustainable populations of wolves in the state.

“Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla have set a great example to follow when implementing cost effective, long-term management strategies for wolves.”

###

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1 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 www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.