Written by Katy Nesbitt, The Observer April 04, 2012 01:39 pm
A 96-pound male wolf from the Wenaha pack was fitted with a tracking collar Monday in northwestern Wallowa County. The pack is estimated to have four to five wolves and produced one pup last year. It is uncertain if the wolf collared is the alpha male of the pack. ODFW photo
A 96-pound male Wenaha pack wolf
was collared Monday in northwestern Wallowa County.
The wolf, now known as OR-12, is the only collared member of the pack.
OR-12 was trapped by an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist and fitted with a global positioning collar.
The collar will send data regarding his location to a computer every few hours so his movements can be tracked.
Michelle Dennehy, spokeswoman for the agency, said the wolf was released in good condition.
It is not known whether or not OR-12 is the pack’s alpha male.
Another male Wenaha pack wolf was collared in the summer of 2010.
Two months later, he was found dead in the Umatilla National Forest by a Fish and Wildlife biologist. It was determined the wolf was shot not long before he was discovered, but the case was never solved.
The Wenaha pack lives along the border of Union and Wallowa counties and was the first pack confirmed in Oregon since wolves were extirpated from the state in the 1940s.
The pack was confirmed when wildlife biologists conducting a howling survey heard the howls of both adults and pups simultaneously. The exact number of wolves was not determined, but at least two adults and two pups were heard.
Photos captured on a Fish and Wildlife remote camera in Northeast Oregon show the Wenaha wolf pack had at least one pup this year.
The agency’s efforts to find additional pups for the Wenaha and other packs will continue so the department can get a complete year-end count of all pups born in 2011.