Gray Wolf Continues Historic Trek Further South into California

The wolf that made the astounding trek from Oregon to the Eastern Sierra has continued to travel south. The GPS-collared gray wolf, known as OR-93, continues to travel farther south in California than the collared wolves that have preceded him.

OR-93 has traversed a significant distance since the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced he was in Modoc County in early February. Over the past few weeks, he moved from Mono County, through parts of Tuolumne, Mariposa, Merced and Madera counties. The last collar reading showed the wolf in agricultural areas in central Fresno County.

OR-93 is a young male that dispersed from Oregon’s White River pack, southeast of Mt. Hood. He was fitted with a tracking collar by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs within the White River pack’s territory in June 2020. Like many young wolves, he subsequently left his pack in search of a new territory and/or a mate.

Gray wolves are listed as endangered pursuant to California’s Endangered Species Act (CESA). It is unlawful to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap or capture gray wolves. Anyone who believes they have seen a wolf in California can report it to CDFW at wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Mammals/Gray-Wolf/Sighting-Report.

Though gray wolves are generally much bigger than coyotes, they can sometimes be misidentified. People can review this identification page that provides tips for differentiating between wolves, coyotes and dogs. OR-93 also has a purple collar around his neck which should make the animal more identifiable.

Gray wolf management in California is guided by CESA as well as CDFW’s Conservation Plan for Gray Wolves in California, finalized in 2016. More information is available on CDFW’s wolf webpage at: wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/mammals/gray-wolf.

Gray wolves pose very little safety risk to humans. CDFW is working to monitor and conserve California’s small wolf population and is collaborating with livestock producers and diverse stakeholders to minimize wolf-livestock conflicts.

CDFW will continue to monitor his whereabouts with the cooperation of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Active NorCal

Northern California's Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine

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