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YREKA FWO: Trail Cameras Confirm That Gray Wolves Have Returned to California
California-Nevada Offices , August 21, 2015
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The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has photographic evidence of five gray wolf pups and two adults in Northern California. This image is from Aug. 9, 2015
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has photographic evidence of five gray wolf pups and two adults in Northern California. This image is from Aug. 9, 2015 - Photo Credit: CDFW

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Trail cameras have confirmed that a pack of gray wolves have returned to the Golden State for the first time since the 1920s.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife on Thursday released photos from Aug. 9, showing five wolf pups and two adults.

Known as the Shasta Pack, the five wolf pups are all black in coloration and are estimated to be about 3.5 to 4 months old and weigh about 35-40 pounds.

Gray wolves historically inhabited California, but were extirpated. Prior to the arrival of gray wolf OR7 in December 2011, the last confirmed wolf in California was in 1924. OR7 has not been in California for more than a year and is currently the breeding male of the Rogue Pack in southern Oregon.

The gray wolf is listed as endangered throughout much of its range in the lower 48 states, including California, under the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973. Gray wolves that enter California are therefore protected by the ESA making it illegal to kill, injure, or harass federally listed wolves.

From a conservation perspective, it is a positive sign that gray wolves have on occasion come back into California. It demonstrates the success of federal wolf recovery efforts and the shared cooperative efforts of the states, Tribes, non-profits, private landowners, and other partners.


Contact Info: Matt Baun, 530-841-3119, matt_baun@fws.gov
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