Wolf pups spotted in Oregon's Cascades (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / June 6, 2014)
Wolf pups haven’t been seen in southwest Oregon’s Cascade Mountains in 70 years … until now.
According to Outdoorhub, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says wolf pups have been sighted in the range for the first time since the mid-1940s.
Paul Henson of the Oregon U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service calls it “very exciting news.”
“It continues to illustrate that the gray wolves are being recovered,” Henson said in a press release.
Wolves throughout the state are protected by the state Endangered Species Act, and those in its western portions are also protected by the federal Endangered Species Act.
By the end of 2013, there were 64 known wolves in Oregon, the service said — most in the northeast corner of the state.
The father of the pups is believed to be a wolf known to researchers as OR7, who left his wolf pack in northeast Oregon in 2011, trekked to California — where he’s believed to be the first wolf in that state since 1924 — and returned with a mate.
Local ranchers are leery about having wolves in the region, but wildlife biologists say livestock predation usually occurs with large packs. They hope a small pack like this one won’t be an issue.