Gray Wolf, © Joan Poor

OR-7 Could Father Pups Again This Year! News reports say that OR-7 — made famous for being the first wolf to reenter northern California in 2011 — could be fathering wolf pups again this year! Wildlife biologists have spotted the handsome male with the same black female as last year, and expect the couple will start denning soon. Last year OR-7 was part of the first wolf pair to successfully breed west of the Cascades in Oregon in over 100 years as he and his mate sired three wolf pups, two of which survived the winter. This family has been named the “Rogue Pack” and is bringing hope to wolf advocates everywhere, showing wolves are reclaiming the vast historic, suitable habitat in western Oregon! We’re delighted to hear that OR-7 may continue to grow his family again this year.

Alaska wolf pack, © Gary Schultz/National Geographic Stock

Gray wolf confirmed shot and killed: Last week we told you about an ongoing investigation into a potential wolf killing in Colorado. Sadly, wildlife biologists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service just confirmed through DNA analysis that the wolf-like animal shot by a coyote hunter outside of Kremmling on April 26 was indeed an endangered gray wolf. Defenders’ Rockies and Plains Program Director Jonathan Proctor said in a statement today, “wolves have been absent from Colorado for 70 years, when the last Colorado wolf was killed in 1945. This wolf’s return to Colorado is an example of what gray wolf recovery should look like: animals naturally dispersing back to their historic habitat…” This incident, like the recent shooting of the wandering wolf that made it all the way to the Grand Canyon, reinforces the need to maintain federal protections for gray wolves to ensure successful recovery.

Ranchers, Conservationists Gather to Discuss a Shared Future of Washington Wolves: We all know that the “wolf” elicits strong emotions. For some, the wolf symbolizes true wild. For others, the wolf’s story is one of the greatest conservation successes of all time. And still for many others, wolves are seen as a threat to their way of life. Without talking, tensions can heat up fast. So, last week, stakeholders involved in wolf management in Washington joined together to begin charting a future for wolves. The group, called the “Wolf Advisory Group,” will help the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife by providing feedback about the current reality for wolves on the ground and together work towards developing a shared vision for wolf recovery. Defenders’ Northwest Director Shawn Cantrell is one of the 18 stakeholders invited to participate, and was encouraged by last week’s two-day meeting outside of Spokane. While this group will continue to meet and discuss for years to come, this initial meeting was a positive first step and provides hope that all the diverse communities involved in Washington’s wolf story are interested in working together.

Mexican gray wolf, © Jim Clark/USFWSMexican gray wolf, © Jim Clark/USFWS

Friday Fun: Great Comic From Albuquerque Journal: If you keep up on your lobo news, you know about the New Mexico Game Commission’s recent decision not to grant a permit for media giant and wildlife philanthropist Ted Turner and his New Mexico Ladder Ranch property. For years, this property has been integral in the recovery of state- and federally-protected Mexican gray wolves because Turner has generously shared his land and provided secure holding pens for wolves en route to and from the wild. While we’ve put the pressure on the Governor and her Commission to change their decision and grant this permit, a decision has yet to be made. In the interim, we thought you’d enjoy this comic from the Albuquerque Journal and cartoonist John Trever…sometimes a picture says it all!

Melanie Gade

, Communications Specialist

Melanie handles press coverage for wildlife in the Pacific Norwest and Rockies and Plains, as well as Defenders' national work on the Endangered Species Act.