Posted: 25 Jan 2013
Wolf OR16 was only one year old, but showed an urge to explore far beyond his age. He was born in Oregon and was part of the Walla Walla pack, but eventually struck out on his own, crossing hundreds of miles into Washington State. He then swam across the Snake River and ventured into Idaho, all the while being tracked by researchers homing in on his GPS collar.
But as we all know, Idaho isn’t a great place to be a wolf these days and sadly, after only 33 days on Idaho soil, OR16 was tracked by a hunter on the Boise National Forest outside of Lowman and legally killed during Idaho’s wolf-hunting season.
OR16 was an amazing animal. Wolves disperse into new areas all the time—these movements help keep wolf populations healthy and growing—but OR16’s journeys were extraordinary, even by wolf standards. His loss is even more tragic as researchers were gleaning tons of information on wolf behavior from the GPS and telemetry signals being emitted by his collar.
OR16 is the second Oregon wolf killed as part of Idaho’s wolf hunts. A year ago, OR-9 was illegally shot by an Idaho hunter. Wolves are relatively new to Oregon; recent census data shows the population slowly climbing to 53 last year.
Idaho’s wolf management practices have been taking a devastating toll on wolves in the northern Rockies since their Congressional delisting in 2011. In their latest move, the state has allocated $50,000 to kill wolves in order to inflate elk numbers for hunters.