A May 2 investigation by ODFW confirmed that four penned sheep (two ewes, two lambs) were killed by a wolf on private land east of Weston, Ore., in northern Umatilla County.
One additional lamb is missing and believed to have been killed by the wolf.
The incident occurred in an area not known to be frequented by one of Oregon’s known wolf packs (Imnaha, Wenaha, Walla Walla, Snake River) but by two wolves discovered last August in the northern Mt Emily wildlife management unit. Based on evidence at the scene, wildlife biologists believe a single wolf was involved in the depredation.
ODFW immediately helped the landowner install electrified fladry, a type of fencing that can deter wolves, around the sheep pens. ODFW is also working to capture and radio-collar the wolf.
This marks the first time ODFW has confirmed a wolf kill of livestock in Umatilla County. The county has an active Wolf Depredation Advisory Committee under the state’s new Oregon Wolf Depredation Compensation and Financial Assistance County Block Grant Program and the landowner is eligible to seek compensation for the loss.
The five dead sheep bring the total number of livestock animals killed by wolves in Oregon to 57 since 2009. The last confirmed wolf kill of livestock occurred March 8.