A new family of wolves has been spotted in the Cascade Mountains in Oregon, according to the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife report released last Monday. The department said that biologists from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs photographed the wolves. The family included two adults and two pups seen on a trail camera in August.
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The DFW has now secured the region where they were spotted and designated it as a new Area of Known Wolf Activity. When an area is classified as AKWA it means that the wolves have been spotted there repeatedly and not just passing through. The two adult wolves were first spotted by CTWS biologists in December 2021. Wolves were not seen again until a trail camera recorded the two pups in August this year. This is a happy indication that the wolves are still living there. Additionally, wolves in the Cascades are protected under the Endangered Species Act.
“I’m so grateful this new family is making its home in a part of Oregon where wolves are still protected under federal law,” Amaroq Weiss, senior wolf advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement.
Officials are hopeful that the group will be captured on camera again before the end of 2022. If the area still has at least four wolves by the end of 2022, the DFW will name it the Warm Springs Pack. This will be the third pack to be documented in the northern Cascade Mountains.
“Illegal wolf killing is rampant in Oregon, so these animals need every possible safeguard. I hope this will be an exciting new chapter in the story of wolf recovery in the state, which is seeing wolves dispersing into territory where they haven’t lived for decades,” Weiss said.
Gray wolves once roamed across North America with their populations reaching the tens of thousands. However, extermination programs by the U.S. government in the 19th and 20th centuries saw the numbers drastically dwindle. Thankfully, efforts to rebuild wolf populations are slowly bearing results with the re-emergence of such small packs.
Lead image via Unsplash