California Wolf Pack Grows

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Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

California’s only established wolf pack has a third litter of pups! The Lassen Pack was recently spotted on this trail camera video with three new pups! Be sure to watch with the sound on. The pair had four pups in 2017 and at least five born last year. As of early July 2019, it is estimated the pack consists of a minimum of two to three adults/yearlings and three pups.

The Lassen Pack alpha female, LAS01F, was first seen in August 2015. By February of the next year, biologists encountered tracks of two wolves traveling together. The pair was then regularly detected during the following summer and fall. Genetic testing showed that the alpha male was born into the Rogue Pack in 2014. LAS01F is suspected of dispersing from the broader northern Rocky Mountain wolf population. She was captured and fitted with a GPS collar in June 2017.

Many of their pups, now yearlings or sub-adults are suspected of dispersing throughout the region, though their whereabouts are unknown. An uncollared dead female yearling wolf was found in Lassen County on September 5, 2018. The carcass was examined but was already decomposing and a cause of death could not be determined. The death is still under investigation.

There is a current proposal by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to remove gray wolves from the federal Endangered Species Act.  Thanks to the Act, wolves have returned across the Northern Rockies and the Great Lakes and are just beginning to repopulate in the Pacific Northwest. Without federal protection, wolves may never recover in places like Colorado or the Adirondacks. We have seen the quickened killing of wolves when states are in control of their livelihood. The CA Fish and Game Commission recently wrote a letter opposing the proposed rule as it prematurely terminates recovery efforts throughout the lower-48 states. Luckily the Lassen Pack and other roaming wolves in the golden state will remain protected by the California Endangered Species Act.