California confirms new wolf pack

Photos courtesy of Michelle Harris, Samantha Winiecki-Love, Ryan Slezak and Colibri Ecological Consulting

There’s a new wolf pack in town. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) confirmed the pack in Tulare County, making it the state’s most southern-roaming pack of wolves. The pack, which was first spotted in July, is about 200 miles away from the next nearest pack, according to a news release.

CDFW officials investigated the location and found wolf tracks, scat and hair samples, which were then tested by CDFW’s Wildlife Forensics Laboratory. All 12 samples collected were confirmed as gray wolf. 

Based upon the genetic analysis, CDFW knows that the new pack includes five wolves not previously detected, including an adult female who is a direct descendant to the first documented wolf in the state: OR-7. Other pack members include four offspring: two females and two males. There were no adult male wolf samples collected at the location though the genetic profile suggests that the breeding male likely came from the Lassen Pack.

Historically, wolves have not lived in the state since the 1920s with the last known wolf confirmed in 1924. When OR-7 relocated from Oregon to California in December 2011 to establish the Rogue Pack, he returned wolves to the state for the first time in nearly a century.

Wolves remain protected under California’s Endangered Species Act and are federally protected in California under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Stay tuned to GOHUNT for further updates.


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