A 2-year old male gray wolf belonging to northeast Oregon's Wenaha wolf pack was captured, radio-collared and released on Wednesday Aug. 4. This is the first wolf in the Wenaha pack to be collared and will allow biologists to track the pack, make a more accurate population estimate, monitor breeding activity and collar other wolves in the pack.
The capture of the wolf was a collaborative effort between ODFW, Umatilla National Forest and the Pacific Northwest Region of the US Forest Service. The 97-pound wolf was in good condition.
"This is an important milestone in monitoring the Wenaha pack," said Russ Morgan, ODFW wolf coordinator. "Now, we will be able to determine specific use areas of this pack, pack numbers and pup production."
Although this is the first wolf from the pack to be collared, ODFW has been monitoring the pack since 2006. The Wenaha pack has an estimated four adult wolves; pups are possible but unconfirmed.
The Wenaha wolf pack is one of two known packs in Oregon. The other, the Imnaha pack, has three radio-collared wolves. On July 3, 2010, a trail camera caught images of six adults in the Imnaha pack, including the alpha female, and four new pups. The alpha male has a GPS collar but has not been detected since May 31.