Saturday, June 27, 2015

#Wolves kill five domestic animals in two attacks

Zach Urness, Statesman Journal

In a pair of attacks last week, wolves killed three sheep, one dog and one calf in eastern Oregon, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed Wednesday. The attacks were the first confirmed by ODFW since last September.

On June 20, a livestock owner in the Rock Creek Drainage of Wallowa County found a partially consumed calf with numerous bites marks and wolf tracks near the carcass. GPS locations showed the radio-collared wolf OR-21 to be within 4.3 miles of the carcass and a single wolf was observed in the pasture the evening before the estimated date of death, ODFW said in its incident report. "The location, appearance, and characteristics of the bite wounds observed are similar to those ODFW biologists have observed on other confirmed calf depredations by wolves," the report said.

On June 22, in the Ruckle Junction area of Umatilla County, three sheep and one guard dog were found dead, ODFW said in its report. "The location and appearance of the bite wounds noted above are similar to those observed on other confirmed sheep depredation by wolves," the report said. "This combined with the multiple animals killed and the presence of collared wolves in close proximity to the sheep at the time of loss combine to justify that these sheep and guard dog were depredated by wolves."

A third incident, investigated May 13, said the cause of death of a calf in Wallowa County was a "probable wolf" attack. Russ Morgan, the department's wolf coordinator, said in an interview last week that the rate of wolf depredations over the past year had been low.
Attacks on livestock in Oregon decreased in 2014, to 11 incidents from 13 the previous year, despite the increase in wolf numbers from 64 to 77 known wolves.


However, the total number of animals killed in 2014 increased to 32 — the highest number since wolves returned to Oregon — mainly because they killed multiple sheep during single attacks.
Since they returned to Oregon, wolves have killed a confirmed 109 domestic animals, a small fraction of all domestic animals in the state.

 source