PORTLAND — Oregon's noted wandering wolf has been staying put of late.
The male known as OR-7 spent the summer in a forested area of the southern Cascade Range in southeastern Jackson County and southwestern Klamath County, according to state wildlife biologists tracking him through GPS technology.
Now 3 years old, OR-7 lit out from northeast Oregon in September 2011 on a quest for a mate that has taken him more than 3,000 miles, with no sign of success.
Before this summer, he roamed deep into Northern California, becoming the first known wolf in the state in nearly a century.
Now, he seems to be settled in his home state, within an area estimated at about 270 square miles, or 173,000 acres.
He's in what was, at one time, wolf habitat and has clearly found prey such as deer to live on, said Michelle Dennehy, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
"We don't have any reports of any kind of livestock problems with OR-7, so he's got natural prey," she said.
She said there's nothing related to his stage of life that would see him settle down, and it's "entirely possible that he makes another movement and goes somewhere else."
Biologists have said a wolf in the wild might live five to seven years.
How long humans will be able to use satellite technology to follow OR-7's travels, or lack of them, is uncertain.
The battery in his tracking collar is nearing the end of a typical three-year life, but no decision has been made about whether or how to replace it. The task would pose risks to both wolf and scientists.
Dennehy said wolves are collared to understand breeding and litters or deal with cattle predation — neither a consideration that now applies to OR-7.