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Another killing by wolf confirmed

A wolf that left its pack in far Northern California has been involved in the killing of at least six calves in the Bly region of eastern Klamath County in recent weeks.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife released information on the wolf, known as LAS13. According to ODFW, LAS13 is a male that left the Lassen Pack in Lassen County, California, as a yearling in August 2020 and entered Oregon near Goose Lake Valley in Lake County in October 2020. Because LAS13 has a functioning GPS radio-collar, ODFW receives information on a daily basis about his movements from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife if there is new location information.

That information shows LAS13 moving north into southern Deschutes and northern Lake counties, before moving into eastern Klamath County. In March 2021, remote camera monitoring detected LAS13 was traveling with a female wolf. Through camera monitoring, the two wolves continue to be documented together.

At this point, LAS13 is thought of as one wolf, or as the wolves traveling with him.

ODFW biologists investigated an incident of confirmed cattle depredation by LAS13 wolves Oct. 31 in eastern Klamath County, which led to designating an Area of Depredating Wolves and “the preparation of an area-specific wolf conflict deterrence plan to assist producers and landowners manage potential conflict with wolves.”

The ADW is intended to inform livestock owners where wolf-livestock conflicts are most likely to occur.

Officials said the deterrence plan was designated “for only a portion of the LAS13 Area of Known Wolf Activity that has similar pasture situations as where the depredation occurred.”

Information on the pack’s current depredations, AKWA and ADW maps, and deterrence plan will be updated as necessary and posted on the ODFW website at www.odfw.com/wolves/.

ODFW policy is to not release the names of landowners where the kills take place, but said the activity has primarily occurred on large private ranches.

Since late October five other livestock deaths have been attributed to LAS13.

Spokesmen for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said an investigation done Monday on a Bly area ranch in eastern Klamath County determined the death of a 550-pound yearling was caused by LAS13, a wolf that has broken off from the Lassen Pack in far Northern California.

The report said the ranch manager was checking livestock on a privately owned 110-acre pasture earlier that day. According to the report, the injuries were estimated to be two to three weeks old. Investigators shaved, skinned and examined most of the carcass.

“Numerous bite scrapes up to a quarter inch wide and two inches long were located on both rear flanks and inside the right rear leg with associated hemorrhaging and muscle tissue damage,” according to the report. The bite wounds are a clear sign of predator attack and the number, location and direction of tooth scrapes is similar to damage observed on cattle injured by wolves, the report said.

In February, ODFW designated a new AKWA, or Area of Known Wolf Activity, in portions of Lake, Klamath and Deschutes counties. According to the agency, LAS13M is a male wolf believed to traveling alone that left the Lassen Pack in California in late 2020.

Officials said that since 2011, information regarding wolves in Klamath and Lake counties has been communicated to county leaders including the Klamath and Lake County commissioner’s offices, Fremont-Winema National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, APHIS-Wildlife Services, Oregon State University Extension Office and the Klamath and Lake County wolf depredation committees. That information includes a current description of known local wolf activity. In addition, because this area was formerly within the federally listed portion of Oregon, ODFW coordinated regularly with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The report said ODFW works with livestock owners in the area to provide information about “the importance of bone pile removal, and appropriate nonlethal measures to minimize wolf-livestock conflict.”

That information shows LAS13 moving north into southern Deschutes and northern Lake counties, before moving into eastern Klamath County. In March 2021, remote camera monitoring detected LAS13 was traveling with a female wolf. Through camera monitoring, the two wolves continue to be documented together.

Reach freelance writer Lee Juillerat at 337lee337@charter.net or 541-880-4139.