New pair of wolves spotted in Northern Cal, where packs a rarity

Gray wolves were exterminated in California early last century because they were considered a threat to livestock.

SAN FRANCISCO – A male wolf captured by Oregon wildlife officials in Northern California last year has been spotted with another wolf, likely a female, with whom he is likely to form a new pack, a California state wildlife official said.

Kent Loudon, a wolf specialist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said Tuesday that OR-85 had been seen by a satellite camera in Siskiyou County in December.

We’re pretty sure it’s a female running around with a banded male wolf, and it looks like they’re forming a territory, Loudon said.

Biologists will take samples of wolf hair, feces and urine to determine the original pack. OR-85, a black wolf, belongs to the Mt. Emily Pack in Oregon and was captured in that area last February. He entered Modoc County at the Oregon border on the 3rd. November.

If the wolves manage to establish a new family, it would be only the third pack in Northern California since the species went extinct in 1924.

The Lassen Pack was first spotted in Lassen County in northeastern California in 2017. A pack of seven wolves was spotted in Shasta County in 2015, but disappeared within a year. The animals are presumed dead.

Gray wolves were exterminated in California at the beginning of the last century because they were considered a threat to livestock. Their arrival in the state has embittered ranchers who say wolves prey on their livestock on public and private land.

Wolves are protected by the California Endangered Species Act. In November, the Trump administration removed Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in much of the United States, ending years of federal protection.

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