Biologists estimate Oregon had a minimum wolf population of 173 animals in 2020, marking a 9.5 percent increase over the previous year. At the same time, livestock depredations increased by 94 percent from 2019. As a result, the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Wolf Depredation Compensation and Financial Assistance Grant Program doled out $251,529 to 12 counties, compared to $178,319 from one year earlier and marking a 30 percent increase in payments.
“While northeast Oregon continues to host majority of state’s wolf population, dispersal to other parts of Oregon and adjacent states continues,” said Roblyn Brown, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) wolf coordinator.
ODFW determined 22 packs and determined the population estimate based on verified evidence such as visual observations, tracks and remote camera photographs. Officials also acknowledge the actual number of wolves is likely higher since they could not locate all individual wolves within the state borders during the count.
Go here to read the ODFW news release.
(Photo source: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife)