John Stephenson cups his mouth and lets out a long, sorrowful howl. “Ow ow owwww!” his cries echo into the Rogue River–Siskiyou National Forest. “Owwww!”The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official is performing a “howling survey” in search of the world’s most famous wolf, who goes by the diminutive name OR-7. It’s May, and Stephenson is standing beside a logging road, deep in the woods outside Prospect, Oregon, hoping for a response, which never comes. The lanky wildlife biologist has also positioned trail cameras in the bush, strapped to grand fir trees and triggered by animals as they pass. But as he scrolls through 1,400 images, he finds only bears, bobcats and deer. OR-7 and his pack must be somewhere on the other side of these mountains, in search of a meal.
If any gray wolves are howling their discontent with a recent proposal to remove what remains of their U.S. federal protection, scientists can now identify the outspoken.A new, more sophisticated method for analyzing sound recordings of wild wolf howls can, with absolute accuracy, tell individual wolves apart-and may even help save the old dog, according to a new paper in the journal Bioacoustics.Study leader Holly Root-Gutteridge and colleagues at Nottingham Trent University in the U.K., working with recordings of wild wolves mostly from Algonquin Provincial Park (map) in Ontario, Canada, also found the technique can distinguish a single animal from a chorus of howlers with 97.4 percent accuracy. The team had previously used the method with captive wolves, but this is the first time it’s worked with wild wolf songs and all the ambient sounds that go with them.
Collared gray wolf OR-54 is back in Oregon after a nearly two-month foray into California, and she could again be working for Da Man, giving up the Rogue Pack’s whereabouts if she hooks back up with her former pack as suspected.One of the daughters of Rogue Pack patriarch OR-7, the 2-year-old female apparently gave up looking for a mate in Northern California last week and returned to southwest Jackson County, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.“When she decided to come back, she beelined her way back here,” says Steve Niemela, ODFW’s Rogue District wildlife biologist.ODFW wolf experts say the timing coincides with when she likely was in heat and in search of a male with which to mate, Niemela says. She likely returned after her potential time for successful mating lapsed, Niemela says.If she returns to the Rogue Pack, her GPS collar will once again allow state and federal biologists follow their whereabouts in their normal home range in eastern Jackson and western Klamath counties.
The wolf called OR-7 (aka Journey) is known for his three-year, 4,000-mile trek across Oregon into California to find a mate. Since OR-7 was 10 months old when collared, scientists were able to document his range, and as his popularity grew, people worldwide followed his arduous journey. Medford aut
In 2013, the groups WildEarth Guardians and the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance sued the Justice Department over the McKittrick Rule, saying that by following the rule, the Department was being derelict in its duties to enforce federal law. The groups, whose suit was driven in large part by the plight of the Mexican wolf, also claimed that the rule was an improper overreach by the Justice Department. They claimed that Justice was claiming broad authority in interpreting the language in the Endangered Species Act, a power traditionally reserved for the courts.In its finding on June 21, the U.S District Court for the District of Arizona ruled that the Justice Department’s adherence to the McKittrick Rule was an illegal end-run around the will of Congress in writing the Endangered Species Act:
His tracking collar went dead in 2015, but OR-7, the wandering wolf, is alive and well. This spring, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service trail camera caught him trotting along with what a wildlife biologist said is an elk leg in his mouth.Federal wildlife biologist John Stephenson said OR-7 was taking
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declined to provide additional information Oct. 19. The female wolf was found dead Oct. 6 in the Fremont-Winema National Forest near Summer Lake, Ore. Gray wolves in the western two-thirds of the state remain protected under the federal Endangered Species Act, and killing one is a crime.
IR-28 was the alpha female of the Silver Lake wolfpack.
The wolf’s carcass was taken to the agency’s national forensics lab in Ashland, Ore., for a necropsy, which would determine the cause of death.
Officials have said anyone with information about the case should call USFWS at (503) 682-6131, or the Oregon State Police Tip Line at (800) 452-7888. Callers may remain anonymous.
Fish and Wildlife is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible. The Center for Biological Diversity, which frequently comments on Oregon’s wolf management plan, has said it will contribute $10,000 to the reward fund.