ENDANGERED SPECIES -- The first wolf confirmed in western Oregon in 65 years has been roaming Douglas County for a week as wildlife official track its exploration in the high Cascades by satellite.
The 2-year-old collared male, dubbed OR-7, has been staying mostly in the Umpqua National Forest's Oregon Cascades Recreation Area, which is sparsely crisscrossed with old logging roads, according to stories by Mark Freeman of the Medford Mail-Tribune.
Born in Oregon in 2009 and collared last February, this wolf was part of the Imnaha pack in Wallowa County and split from that pack Sept. 10 in what biologists called dispersing, the wolf's version of leaving the nest, Freeman writes.So far, it has traveled more than 250 miles on its journey and there was no way to guess when or where this wolf will end up, biologists have said.
The last confirmed wolf in Western Oregon was one shot and killed for a bounty in 1946 in Douglas County.The wolf roaming the county this week is protected as an endangered species.
Biologists have said there was a "high likelihood" other noncollared wolves have reached the Cascades, said Russ Morgan, the ODFW's wolf program coordinator.
Oregon has a minimum population of 23 confirmed wolves since the first wandered in from Idaho in 1999. There was no statewide population estimate for the wolves.