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Grey Wolves Have Returned To California
Posted on Friday, August 21, 2015 by eNature
Grey wolf pack near Mt. Shasta in Siskiyou County, CA.
Grey wolf pack near Mt. Shasta in Siskiyou County, CA.
© California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Two all-black adult wolves and five 4-month-old pups have been photographed near the Cascades’ Mount Shasta. It’s the first time in nearly a century that a gray wolf pack has been seen in the state.

Trail cameras first spotted a suspected gray wolf in May and June and biologists set out to retrieve scat samples and set up additional cameras, wildlife authorities said. Two adult wolves were then captured on film. The whole pack was confirmed on Aug. 9.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife released photos Thursday showing the wolves — dubbed the Shasta Pack —  in rural Siskiyou County.

“This is an Endangered Species Act success story in the making,” Pamela Flick, with the Defenders of Wildlife told the San Jose Mercury News.

California’s gray wolf population was thought to be wiped out in the 1920s.  As a result, the species was listed as endangered in 1973 and, although California had no known gray wolves left, the state declared them endangered just last year.

The recent sighting comes a few years after a lone gray wolf, known as OR-7, wandered some 200 miles from Oregon’s wilderness to California’s Cascades. He has since gone back home and found a mate.

But it marked the first time in a century that biologists had seen one in the state and it prompted state wildlife authorities to start working on a management plan to help them repopulate, assuming the species would start to make its way south again. That said, biologists didn’t expect a resurgence so soon.

“They have beat us to the punch on a couple of occasions now,” California’s wildlife branch chief Eric Loft told the Sacramento Bee.

The adult wolves are suspected to be from Oregon but wildlife authorities do not believe they are descended from OR-7, the one that wandered into California in 2011. DNA samples have been sent to a lab in Idaho to determine where the clan came from.

Wildlife authorities are now trying to finalize the management plan, though it won’t be in force until the end of the year, said Karen Kovacs with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

(16) CommentsPermalink


This is wonderful news.  Good luck in developing a management plan.  With the grey wolf back in California, maybe those with such a love affair with them will reduce the pressure to preserve every wolf in the GYES.

Posted by Bret Allard on 8/22

Glad to see the wolves making a comeback. Hope people leave them alone.

Posted by Patsy on 8/22


Posted by Emily on 8/22

This is wonderful news. I am tired of hearing about wildlife being destroyed by man. It’s nice to hear wildlife coming back. Thank you.

Posted by Kim on 8/22

Hopefully this will lead to a better balance in the remaining wild places.

Posted by Margi on 8/22

This is so great!  They have realized the improvement of the Eco=systems since the wolves have returned to Yellowstone!  I hope it works with the Shasta pack as well.

Posted by Jo on 8/22

I hope the management plan includes making sure people don’t come in and try to harm these magnificent and wonderful animals. Now watch the ecosystem where they are thrive as it did in yellowstone.  Be fruitful and multiply beautiful Shasta Pack!!!

Posted by Martha Leitner on 8/22

I have followed some of the various packs in Yellowstone, Idaho, Oregon, and Eastern Washington. I hope and pray people leave them alone and done shoot them claiming they think they are coyotes. People know very little about packs and the Alpha pair and it is sad when some thoughtless person shoots one. I hope they make it.

Posted by David Jones on 8/22

I am so glad to hear this, man has destroyed enough land, and animals, we need to be there voice and do what we can to keep them safe, and protect the land for them to live and strive.

Cathy Dunphy

Posted by cathy dunphy on 8/22

We’ve studied wolf packs in Yellowstone and are fully aware of the benefits of their presence. Where the eagle is the symbol of liberty/freedom the wolf is the symbol of the wild.

Posted by Don Baldwin on 8/22

These are magnificent creatures and we need to do everything possible to protect them! We live in the country and have a large pack of coyotes near by. We love to listen to them howl at night and nobody around here bothers them. We would love to hear the wolves howl, so best of luck managing the Shasta Pack!

Posted by Bill on 8/23

There is hope!!

Posted by tish newlin on 8/23

Don’t get so specific when making these type of announcements.  It’s great but if I were you I wouldn’t negate the possibility of some nut case wanting to kill them.  NOTE this has happened before i. e. the Dodo and the passenger pigeon being prime examples and the Rhino that’s down to three, etc etc etc.

Posted by Louise Andderson on 8/23

I agree that this is wonderful thing that is taking place and I pray that God will bless the pack and those trying to manage it but- I also agree that sometimes exact locations and specifics about the pack may not be in their best interest. It is sad that we have people in our society that think they must kill what they don’t understand or what they fear. Wolves have long been viewed as “bad”. I know better than that but there are still people who believe they are. Taking extra precautions would be the order of the day, I think.

Posted by Amelia Bowers on 8/23

What wonderful news.  Please continue to monitor the wolf pack and keep the public informed.  We all need to be aware of how important the animals are to this planet.  We are all meant to share it.
thank you

Posted by Jean Battah on 8/25

That’s great news.  Can’t wait for hunting season.

Posted by Christian on 8/27

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