Wolf OR7 and a mate have produced offspring in southwest Oregon’s Cascade Mountains, wildlife biologists confirmed this week. In early May, biologists suspected that OR7, originally from northeast Oregon, had a mate in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest when remote cameras captured several images of what appeared to be a black female wolf in the same area.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) biologists returned to the area Monday, June 2 and observed two pups. Scat samples from the area have been collected and submitted to a laboratory for DNA analysis, which will take several weeks.
An image of the two pups can be seen at ODFW’s wolf photo gallery. It is likely there are more pups as wolf litters typically number four to six pups.
The pups mark the first known wolf reproduction in the Oregon Cascades since the mid-1940s. “This is very exciting news,” said Paul Henson, state supervisor of the Oregon U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office. “It continues to illustrate that gray wolves are being recovered.”
Wolves throughout Oregon are protected by the state Endangered Species Act. Wolves west of Oregon Highways 395, 78 and 95 are also protected by the federal Endangered Species Act, with the Service as the lead management agency.
At the end of last year, there were 64 known wolves in Oregon. Most known wolves are in the northeast corner of the state.