FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New wolf pack confirmed in Washington State
Conservation Northwest’s remote camera photos lead to the confirmation of the second known pack in the Cascade Mountains
Today, the Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced the confirmation of the second known pack of wolves in the Cascade Mountains. The “Teanaway Pack” was first discovered by volunteers working for Conservation Northwest’s wildlife monitoring program.
Today, the Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced the confirmation of the second known pack of wolves in the Cascade Mountains. The “Teanaway Pack” was first discovered by volunteers working for Conservation Northwest’s wildlife monitoring program. In 2008, the non-profit wildlife organization also captured the first images of pups from “Lookout Pack” - Washington’s first confirmed pack in decades. After sharing their most recent images with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Forest Service, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the agencies began further investigation and confirmed today through DNA analysis that these canids are wild wolves. Further images caught on remote cameras show multiple animals in one shot, confirming the presence of a pack, as opposed to one dispersing individual. In June, WDFW trapped and collared a lactating female wolf, a sign that the pack may be producing pups.
“Conservation Northwest is proud to be a part of the effort to document the return of the wolf to the Cascade Mountains,” said Mitch Friedman, executive director for Conservation Northwest. “The wolf’s return to the Cascades is an important milestone for restoring the wildlife heritage of these wild mountains. Wolves play an important role in maintaining a balance of predator and prey that has a trickle down benefits for all sorts of wildlife from eagles to bears.”
This announcement of a new wolf pack in the Cascades comes on the heels of reports that only two animals remain in the original Lookout Pack. Authorities believe their numbers were severely reduced by illegal killing. A recent federal grand jury indicted three Washington residents on twelve counts of wildlife violations, including killing up to five endangered wolves from the Lookout Pack, conspiracy, and various counts of smuggling hides and poached animal parts in and out of the country.
To address this challenge to wolf recovery in Washington, Conservation Northwest recently partnered with WDFW to establish a state reward fund to apprehend poachers who illegally kill Washington’s endangered wildlife, including wolves and grizzly bears.
In the meantime, the state has convened a diverse group of stakeholders, including Conservation Northwest, to develop a state conservation and management plan for wolves. “We’re working to make sure that as wolves return to Washington they are managed in a way that minimizes hardship on local ranchers and hunters, while still allowing them to recover.” Friedman said.
For more info, visit: http://www.conservationnw.org/wildlife-habitat/gray-wolf
Photos available for press use only, credits are listed: Conservation Northwest (B&W) and Western Transportation Institute (color image): Photo gallery
The "Cascade Mountains wolf" has lived in the forested regions from the Cascade Range to the Pacific Coast. Early settlers described the wolf as "common" and speculate that one or more wolf packs may have occurred in each of all major river drainages. Yet with the arrival of settlers came animosity towards the wolf, government-sponsored bounty payments, and, eventually, extirpation of the wolf and nearly all other large predators, like the grizzly bear, from large parts of the Northwest. The return gray wolf, as a top carnivore, could benefit Cascade ecosystems, as seen in other areas such as northwestern Montana and Yellowstone National Park.
About Conservation Northwest’s wildlife monitoring program:
The Cascades Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project involves volunteers on the ground to create citizen science to better understand wildlife movement and presence on both sides of the Cascades crest. Citizen's science combines wintertime snow tracking with year-long motion-sensitive remote camera work. The program has captured images of lynx, wolverine and wolves.