Oregon’s Imnaha wolf pack’s alpha male was fitted with a new working GPS collar Thursday.
Its GPS collar stopped working back in May 2010.
The alpha male was found in good condition in a trap set by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife on private land in Wallowa County, east of Joseph, Ore. He was tranquilized, fitted with a new collar, and released.
The trap was set as part of efforts to catch and kill two uncollared wolves from the Imnaha pack, to reduce livestock losses by wolves in the area.
As the two uncollared wolves have been killed, ODFW has now removed traps from Wallowa County.
“We hope the experience discourages the alpha male from returning to this area, which is private land with livestock operations,” noted Russ Morgan, ODFW wolf coordinator.
Despite non-lethal methods in place to prevent wolf-livestock conflict, wolves from the Imnaha pack have killed at least four domestic animals this year. The pack was also involved in livestock losses in the same area at about the same time last year.
“This action is not something that we take lightly, but it is consistent with the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan,” said Russ Morgan, ODFW wolf coordinator. “This will reduce the food requirements of the pack and discourage further use of this area [livestock operations on private lands].”
ODFW has also issued 12 “caught in the act” permits to livestock producers in the area of the Imnaha pack. With the permits, the livestock producers may shoot a wolf they “see in the act of biting, wounding or killing livestock.” All of the permit holders are using non-lethal methods to prevent wolf-livestock conflict.
The purpose of these permits is to provide livestock producers with additional tools to protect their property. Morgan noted that the opportunity to use these permits is rare. “Wolves tend to avoid humans, so seeing one in the act is unlikely. None of the livestock producers that have lost animals to wolves so far have seen a wolf actually attacking their livestock,” he said. “However, we want to give ranchers the ability to protect their private property should they see a wolf biting, wounding or killing their livestock.”
For more information go to http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves/