UPDATE: MARCH 2, 2011, 3:05 P.M. ODFW today reports that the yearling female collared last month was found dead yesterday. The carcass is being sent to WSU’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for an examination, though “no visible indication of foul play or any other cause of death” was seen.
ODFW reported capturing and collaring three more members of the Imnaha Pack in northeast Wallowa County late last month.
There are now five wolves in the large pack wearing functioning collars. A sixth that was captured last winter wandered across the state line into Washington in late January; a collar on the alpha male quit working last spring.
The Imnaha pack roams in an area where ranchers have been having problems with wolves — two bred cows were reportedly killed east of Joseph in late February — and are now stringing electric fence and fladry to keep them away from their stock.
ODFW was assisted by the Forest Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in collaring the yearling male and female and a 2-year-old male. Two were given GPS collars, the other a radio collar.
ODFW says it will continue to try and collar more members of the Imnaha as well as Wenaha Packs this winter.
Wolves in Oregon fall under Endangered Species Act protection. They’re primarily managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service but ODFW conducts capture and monitoring operations as part of the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan.