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New wolves identified in Southern Oregon

This trail camera photo shows an adult wolf with five pups photographed July 4, 2022, in the Upper Deschutes wildlife management unit in Klamath County. [ODFW photo]

An adult male wolf that was captured southeast of Bend in February 2021 and fitted with a GPS radio collar has been found in the Keno area east of Ashland.

As a result, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has designated a new Area of Known Wolf Activity, or AKWA, in the Keno management unit of Klamath County. The wolf is known as OR103.

ODFW officials said OR103 originally dispersed into Northern California and resided there until returning to Oregon in July. According to the agency, “The recent localized movement indicates the wolf is now resident in Klamath County.”

If the wolf leaves the area, the AKWA will be modified.

Other wolves are known to frequent Klamath and Jackson counties, notably members of the Rogue Pack that move between Fort Klamath in Klamath County and the Prospect region of Jackson County. The Rogue Pack has been blamed for the deaths of 10 cattle in the Fort Klamath area in July and three so far this month.

Also in July, ODFW designated another new AKWA in the Upper Deschutes wildlife management that includes portions of Klamath and Deschutes counties. In issuing the July 20 designation, agency spokesmen said they have been monitoring reports of a single wolf in the area since August 2021, and one wolf was spotted during the winter count. Earlier this year tracks of four wolves were found in the area.

Biologists said a trail camera had photos taken July 4 of an adult wolf with five pups, which confirmed that a new group of wolves resides in the area.

According to the ODFW, AKWAs are created “where and when wolves have become established, meaning an area is used repeatedly over time by the same wolves and not simply dispersing wolves moving through the area. The designation also helps alert livestock producers about wolf presence. Livestock producers in an AKWA are encouraged to consider nonlethal measures to reduce any potential conflict with wolves.”

A pack is defined as at least four wolves traveling together in winter and typically includes at least two adult wolves and offspring.

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