Wolf attacks push Oregon closer to 'lethal control' decision under new rules

Wolf attacks push Oregon closer to 'lethal control' decision under new rules
This trail camera photo provided by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife shows two wolves from the Imnaha pack on June 22, 2011 on the Wallowa Whitman National Forest in Wallowa County. The wolf on the left is a 2-year-old male, and the wolf in the center is the alpha female. (AP Photo/Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife)

EUGENE, Ore. -- Wolves killed a goat and a cow calf and injured an adult cow in northeastern Oregon this month, pushing the state closer to the first test of a settlement between conservation groups and ranchers.

Biologists confirmed the Imnaha pack killed a calf and injured a cow in August, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said.

The Umatilla River pack killed a goat.

Beyond confirming wolves responsible for the attacks, ODFW also reviews the non-lethal protections against wolves used by the landowner.

If a landowner used at least one preventive measure, the wolf attacks are considered "qualifying incidents" under Oregon law.

If a wolf pack is involved in 4 qualifying incidents within 6 months, state biologists can then consider using "lethal control" - killing wolves - to discourage further attacks on livestock.

ODFW said it is waiting for more information from the landowner regarding the use of non-lethal measures prior to the two Imnaha pack attacks.

The pack already has 2 strikes against it; if both wolf attacks are found to be qualifying incidents, state wildlife managers will again be in a position to consider killing wolves.

Prior to the settlement between conservations and ranchers approved by the state, the Imnaha pack had been subject to a kill order in 2010. Conservation groups blocked the action, and subsequent discussions led to the new policy of killing wolves as a last resort.

The Imnaha pack is also well known as the origin of wandering wolf OR-7, a male that left the pack and walked across Oregon and into northern California.


Report on calf killing

Report on goat killing

Report on injured cow