October Wildlife Update: A Week to Celebrate Wolves!

Wolf OR-30 from ODFW

Happy Wolf Awareness Week

Let’s be honest, we probably need more like a month to celebrate all the ways wolves are so amazing, but we’ll take what we can get! Read this month’s newsletter to learn about upcoming opportunities to speak up for Oregon’s recovering wolf population. 

While the return of wolves across the West is a story of inspiration and hope, we must be diligent to ensure the forces that pushed wolves to the brink of extinction in the 20th Century don’t get momentum again in the 21st Century. We’ve already seen aggressive trophy hunting and trapping in Idaho and Montana throw recovery off track - to the point that the US Fish and Wildlife Service is considering whether or not to reinstate protections for wolves in the Northern Rockies (which includes Eastern Oregon).

We’re not going to let that happen here. Unfortunately, the pressure to initiate a trophy hunting season is already starting to heat up. The Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan (which gets reviewed and updated every five years) is expected to be evaluated starting sometime next year. If you recall, the last one was completed in 2019 after significant delays by ODFW staff who prioritized removing state Endangered Species Act protections first.

Though that iteration of the wolf plan opened the door to trophy hunting, relaxed standards for non lethal measures, and reduced the threshold for when wolves can be killed - the livestock industry and their allies want even more discretion and authority to kill wolves. HARD PASS.

Oregon is already experiencing rampant wolf poaching (another one was just announced as this newsletter was being crafted), stalled population growth, and lax implementation of non-lethal management tools. We need a real wolf conservation plan that follows best available science and the will of the majority of Oregonians who want to see fewer dead wolves, fewer dead livestock and less conflict. It is possible, but we’re going to need all hands on deck. 

Please sign this petition to ensure you receive real-time updates and opportunities to speak up for Oregon’s recovering wolf population.    

The shadow of the condor(s) is getting bigger. Last week, Yurok Tribal wildlife staff released two more condors into the Pacific Northwest skies, bringing the total number of free flying condors to six. As with the first four, Tribal Council and staff gave each bird nicknames to better represent the significance of the birds’ return. According to Tiana Williams-Claussen, Wildlife Department Director for the Yurok Tribe, A4- which was named ‘Cher-perhl So-nee-ne-pek'- means "I feel strong” and A5 -which was named ‘Neee'n’- means "Watcher.” More free flying condors in Northern California can only mean one thing: a higher chance for Oregonians to see thunderbird in our skies. Need some tips on how to spot a condor in the wild? Check out our condor ID graphic for more information!  

Speaking of a rare species sighting, last month federal agents working on the Double Creek Fire in NE Oregon posted a photo of an animal that looks an awful lot like a wolverine!  Was it Stormy, Oregon’s only known resident wolverine, or someone else? Your guess is as good as ours, but either way, it’s great to see wolverines present in Oregon!   


This is great to see! The US appointed its first diplomat for plants and animals. We can only hope that means the Biden administration will take the extinction crisis more seriously. 

An Oregon judge recently blocked a logging sale because the federal agency failed to protect critical owl habitat under the Endangered Species Act. 

Our regularly scheduled monthly webcasts are back! Topics range from saving the Snake River salmon (with special guest Chairman Penney of the Nez Perce Tribe), protecting old- growth forests for climate justice, and finally, one on animal communication. You won’t want to miss these events, so be sure to reserve your spot today!