MEDFORD — State and federal biologists are setting out traps nightly in hopes of catching and collaring gray wolf OR-7 or his mate so they can regain the tracking capabilities that allowed the world to tag along on his long journey for a mate. Biologists are using padded foothold traps and baiting them with a foul-smelling concoction to capture one of the wolves so they can attach a GPS-emitting radio collar before heavy cold sets in. John Stephenson from the U.S.
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.
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On March 31, 2016, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife gunned down by helicopter Wolf OR-4, his pregnant female mate and two offspring which made up the Imnaha Pack of Wallowa County. There are thought to be 110 wolves currently inhabiting territory in Oregon, the Imnaha Pack among the most publicized and well known.
OR-4 was initially collared on February 12, 2010 and was collared three more times before his death. ODFW kept close track of OR-4 due to his size and breeding and to maintain data to manage social and livestock concerns. Initially weighed at 115 pounds OR-4 was considered the largest wolf in Oregon.
Considered old for a wild wolf OR-7 was approximately 10 years old. The life span of wild wolves greatly vary due to any number of influences that effect mortality, but the average is 5-8 years. OR-4’s “elderly” status earned him respect for his resilience and tenacity.
OR-4’s mate was spotted with a limp and bad leg. The breeding pair of a wolf pack usually lead the hunts for prey with the offspring to either help or keep at a learning distance.
It is thought, due to old age and possible deposition by a younger male, that OR-4 and his pack attacked and killed livestock five times in March.