ENDANGERED SPECIES — Oregon's newest confirmed wolf pack is roaming the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area and Wilderness along the Snake River bordering Idaho.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife used hunter reports and remote cameras to help them document at leat five wolves in the pack last week, including at least one pup.
The Snake River wolf pack is the fourth to be confirmed in Oregon since the mid-2000s, when wolves began filtering into the state from Idaho.
Earlier this month, ODFW radio-collared its first wolf (female pup) from the Walla Walla pack in Umatilla County, a pack first documented in January 2011. It roams along the Oregon-Washington border.
The current minimum known number of wolves ODFW can account for in Oregon is 23: the Imnaha pack (four), Walla Walla pack (six), Snake River pack (five), Wenaha pack (four), northern Umatilla County wolves (two) plus two dispersers from the Imnaha pack that remain in Oregon.
Officials say it's likely that more than 23 wolves exist in Oregon, where they are still protected by the state Endangered Species Act along with the federal ESA in areas west of Highways 395-78-95.