The Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife keeps a fascinating Web page on their site to track the events in the lives of the Imnaha wolf pack. The December 29, 2011 entry says OR-7, a male, entered California. So far the page has not been updated to reflect the death of OR-5, the sister of OR-7. She died recently in Idaho – killed by a steel leg trap.
She was caught at the end of March, just before the end of the Idaho trapping season. The Imnaha Pack is sort of famous in Oregon due to the controversy over their presence and its impact on livestock. Wolves from Idaho relocated to Oregon some years ago and have been establishing themselves to a small extent. Predictably, ranchers are not too happy about this activity, while animal lovers and conservationists have been pleased. Some livestock losses have occurred, and there have been efforts to deter the wolves. Some wolves have even been killed.
OR-5, unlike her brother, strayed into Idaho, a state well-known for its antipathy towards wolves. OR-7 roamed all the way into California and it was a cause for some rejoicing and groaning, depending on whether or not you own livestock. OR-7 has since wandered back into Oregon, so there isn’t any immediate course of action required by Californians. Wolves, as we have seen, are very mobile and do not know state boundaries or the variances in human attitudes and politics. OR-7 was averaging about 15 miles a day on his interstate soujourns.
Many humans – if not most – probably don’t care at all about wild wolves. Not where they are, where they roam or what they are doing. So the wolves are boxed in by boundaries they didn’t make and human practices they can’t control. Eight hundred wolves have been killed since their Endangered Species Act protections were removed in 2011, and that is just in Idaho.
At the end of 2012, the Imnaha pack had an estimated eight members, but that number now is seven. The total estimated number of wolves in Oregon was 46 and that includes pups.