OR-85 (right) and traveling companion in California. Photo credit Scott Summer.
California may have a new wolf pack this spring! In November of 2020 a young male, approximately 1.5 years old, entered the golden state. OR-85, born into the Mt. Emily Pack, traveled all the way from far northeastern Oregon. After being here for just one month, trail cameras and tracks indicated that the young wolf was traveling with a companion. The gender of the second wolf is uncertain but given their nature, it is entirely possible that we could see pups in April.
OR-93 in June 2020 captured and fitted with GPS collar. Photo credit: Austin Smith, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.
Another male yearling, OR-93, entered the state in January this year. In just two short months, after a brief return to Oregon, this young traveler has covered over 350 miles looking for a mate. OR-93 was born into the White River Pack and was fitted with a collar last summer. He has found his way south, through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, all the way down past Lake Tahoe.
OR-93 is the 16th gray wolf known to have dispersed into the state in the last decade. The disappearance and death of many wolves in the region attests to the fact that survival is extremely difficult. There is still reason to trust that this keystone species will recover. Since 2017, the Lassen Pack has sired twenty-two offspring. It is only a matter of time until more packs are established throughout the millions of acres of suitable habitat in their native territory of California.