Wolf captured, collared in Eastern Oregon

Russ Morgan, ODFW wolf coordinator, watches over the wolf as it recovers from anesthesia used during the radio-collaring.

LA GRANDE - Wildlife officials captured and radio-collared a male wolf Sunday, May 3, in Baker County.

The wolf was released about 7 a.m. It was the first radio-collaring of a wolf in Oregon.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife specialists were involved in the operation.

The wolf weighs 87 pounds and is estimated to be about 2 years old.

The track size and a second, smaller wolf seen at the capture site indicate that the wolf is one of two that have killed livestock in the Keating Valley area of Baker County over the past few weeks.

The male wolf was trapped about 2.5 miles from the ranch house where the wolves attacked a calf on April 17. Tissue samples were taken from the wolf for genetic analysis.

The two agencies have been trying to trap the wolves since mid-April after confirming the first known livestock depredation by wolves since they began their return to Oregon in the late 1990s.

Officials said the radio collar will be used as a tool to help prevent further livestock losses. ODFW staff will be monitoring the radio collar to determine the wolves' movement patterns and alert ranchers to wolf activity in the area. They can also be used with RAG (radio activated guard) boxes, which emit loud noises when a radio-collared wolf approaches.

The capture came just as wolves in the eastern portion of Oregon were de-listed, or removed from protection under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). The May 4 change affects the area of Oregon east of Highways 395, 78 and 95.

Wolves in this area remain protected by Oregon's ESA, while wolves west of the boundary remain protected by both the federal and state ESA.

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