No, this isn’t the latest reality TV craze. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today that the wolf pack they’ve been tracking east of Joseph in Wallowa County, called the Imnaha Wolf Pack, have added at least four new pups to their pack. Motion-activated trail cameras caught footage of the four new pups and six adult wolves, including the alpha female. Four pups is a bit low compared to the average pup litter size of five, but ODFW officials say there may be more pups the cameras didn’t catch.
Cameras caught footage of the Imnaha Wolf Pack last November, counting approximately six pups. ODFW has monitored the Imnaha Wolf Pack since 2008 to determine how many “breeding pairs” are active. According to the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, if the ODFW can document at least four breeding pairs consecutively over the course of three years, the Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider delisting them as an endangered species in Oregon.
If you’re enjoying the outdoors in Eastern Oregon and come across a wolf, make your presence known and slowly back away. Wolves will usually only attack a human if he or she comes near a kill or the wolf’s pups. If you encounter a wolf at night, try waving a flashlight or lantern. Look intimidating but not aggressive.