A wildlife trail camera in the Upper Deschutes wildlife management area caught an image of a wolf and five wolf pups roaming earlier this month. That’s part of the reason the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is now designating a new Area of Known Wolf Activity (AKWA) for that area in Klamath and Deschutes counties.
The image of the wolf family was captured July 4. ODFW said the discovery confirmed suspicious that a new group of wolves had taken up residency.
“ODFW has been monitoring reports of a single wolf in the area since August 2021 and one wolf was counted during the winter count,” the agency said in a website post. “Early in 2022, tracks of four wolves were found in the area and since then, biologists have been working to determine if the activity represented newly established wolves or wolves from the Indigo Pack just to the south.”
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ODFW said AKWAs are created when and were wolves become established. That means the same wolves use the same area repeatedly over time.
An AKWA designation also helps alert livestock producers. Those producers are urged by ODFW to use non-lethal methods to keep wolves at bay.
ODFW said that depending on how many wolves are in this group by year’s end, it may be designated the Upper Deschutes Pack.
“A pack is defined as at least four wolves traveling together in winter and typically includes at least two adult wolves and offspring,” ODFW said.
Wolf sightings can be reported at https://dfw.state.or.us/wolves/