Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife may kill at least one additional wolf from the Imnaha pack after another livestock animal was confirmed to have been killed by wolves yesterday.
A 300-pound calf was killed by a wolf on private property northeast of Joseph, in the same area where previous depredations have occurred (on May 5 and May 18). The calf was found (Sunday, June 5) and confirmed by ODFW and USDA Wildlife Services as a wolf kill.
To prevent further livestock losses, ODFW intends to kill at least one additional uncollared wolf from the Imnaha pack. Lethal efforts will be limited to private land in the area where previous livestock losses to wolves have occurred, so only wolves showing an interest in livestock are targeted.
“We need to be diligent in addressing livestock losses by wolves, especially when livestock producers have done their part and undertaken non-lethal efforts,” said Russ Morgan, ODFW wolf coordinator. “We believe doing so is critical to long-term public support for wolves and overall wolf conservation efforts.”
Since the Imnaha pack was confirmed to be involved in livestock losses last year, livestock producers in the area and wildlife managers have undertaken an extensive effort to avoid livestock conflict through non-lethal measures.
Landowners in the area have used electrified fladry (flagged fencing known to deter wolves), removed bone piles that can attract wolves, and installed Radio Activated Guard boxes that emit a sound when collared wolves draw near. ODFW has been tracking wolf location information received by radio and GPS collars and a range rider is monitoring wolves and protecting livestock in the area. Wolves have also been hazed away from livestock operations. Many landowners in the area have changed grazing practices to reduce the risk of depredation by wolves.
The landowner who lost the calf confirmed on June 5 has used hazing, a range rider and increased human presence around cattle on his property.
Radio collar data indicates that the calf was not killed by one of the Imnaha pack’s four collared wolves (the breeding pair and two sub-adult wolves). The collared wolves were not in the area at the time but south of the location on forested land.
The latest information indicates that the Imnaha pack is currently made up of at least eight sub-adult or adult wolves, including the four collared wolves. Based on pack behavior, ODFW also believes the Imnaha pack had pups this year. Wolf litters are born in mid-April and average four to six pups.
A fifth radio-collared wolf has not been located for the last month and may have moved to another area.
More information: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves/