The Lassen Pack, California’s only known wolfpack, has grown recently with the announcement of a new litter of pups. It’s the third litter from the pack that wolf specialists have recorded this year alone.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife wolf specialist Kent Laudon, who is based in Redding, made the announcement at a recent meeting of the Wolf Stakeholder Group.
“We still don’t know how many there are.” Laudon said. “We’ve got cameras out and we think there are at least three.”
Some wolf pups of the recent litters have died, while others have dispersed to other areas. Specialists are continuing to attempt to track the pack to better understand its size and movement tendencies.
“We’re going to try and collar one or two more wolves in the pack now, and then we’ll have better ideas on where they are headed and see what’s happening with other wolves on the landscape.”
The Lassen Pack is the descendant of famed OR-7, a wolf that famously traveled from Oregon into Northern California in 2011, becoming the first known wolf in the state in nearly 100 years. The Lassen Pack’s father wolf, known as CA-08M, is the son of OR-7.
The only other known pack in California was the Shasta Pack, which mysteriously disappeared in Siskiyou County recently.
The revival of wolves in Northern California remains a controversial topic in rural communities. The fascinating animals diversify the local ecosystems while creating legitimate arguments between conservation and protecting personal property, particularly of cattle on remote ranches.