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Scientists hope collared wolf in Oregon Cascades leads to others

A gray wolf.
Courtesy of Idaho Fish and Game
A gray wolf.

Biologists tracking a gray wolf from Northeastern Oregon say it has traveled more than 300 miles. The wolf crossed the Cascades and showed up in southwest Oregon not far from Crater Lake.

The animal is code-named Oregon-7. It wears a GPS collar that sends data about its location several times a day. John Stephenson is a federal wolf biologist. He says in the past, he’s found tracks in the snow in the Oregon cascades he thinks were left by a wolf. But he’s never been able to confirm a sighting.

Stephenson says there’s a chance the collared wolf will help reveal a few more.

“They’re dispersing to find a new territory but they’re also a pack animal so they’re also searching for a mate. We’ll see if they find one or not. They would be more effective at finding a lone wolf out there on the landscape than we’re able to do," he said.

Two wolf packs have recently established themselves in the Cascades in Washington State. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is evaluating whether wolves in western Oregon and Washington are a distinct population. The service should reach a decision early next year. In Medford Oregon I’m Amelia Templeton.