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New wolf activity confirmed west of Klamath Falls; animal sighted in the Keno Unit
The animal was spotted in the Keno Unit, which is in the southwest Cascades on a mixture of public and private lands, according to a news release. Most of the unit’s west boundary is just inside the Klamath-Jackson County border and runs from California to Crater Lake National Park.Evidence, including at least one partial-body photo of the unidentified gray wolf, has been collected twice in the last month.
Wildlife officials know little about the animal — sex, age, origin, or if it is with other wolves, is still a mystery. ODFW and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials plan to continue gathering data, the release said.The Capital Press, an agricultural newspaper that covers the West, reported that ODFW biologist Mark Vargas spoke of the sighting during a wolf update at a Jan. 10 meeting of the Jackson County Stockmen’s Association. Vargas said the sighting came while OR-7’s Rogue Pack was in another location. Wildlife officials have been tracking OR-7 since 2011 when he was fitted with a GPS radio collar. OR-7 gained fame as the state’s “wandering wolf” after dispersing from his pack and traveling across Oregon and into California. OR-7 eventually settled in Southern Oregon timberland. In spring 2013 he was joined by a female and the pair bred three pups
Earlier this month, OR-7, his mate and their pups were dubbed the Rogue Pack. The designation is a nod to the animals’ primary range: the Rogue River drainage east of Medford.The Rogue Pack is the first in Western Oregon and the ninth in Oregon.
ODFW designates “areas of known wolf activity” (AKWA) in regions where wolves or packs have become established. AKWA’s are only designated when wildlife officials can verify wolves have been using an area over an extended period of time, according to the agency’s website.The area the new wolf is using lies within the already established AKWA for the Rogue Pack; however, data from OR-7’s radio collar indicates his pack hasn’t been in the area recently. According to the release, the Rogue Pack AKWA will soon be adjusted to reflect its current use area.
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Page Updated: Thursday January 15, 2015 10:33 PM Pacific
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