04:23 PM

Oregon’s wolf population rises while livestock-wolf conflicts decline


Date: March 1, 2016

Contact: Melanie Gade; mgade@defenders.org (202) 772-0288

Oregon’s wolf population rises while livestock-wolf conflicts decline

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon’s emphasis on proactive and nonlethal wolf management has helped allow the state’s small wolf population to increase by 36 percent this year, according to the annual population count released this week by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. This population rise occurred as confirmed livestock loss to wolves declined for a second consecutive year.

Quinn Read, Defenders Northwest Representative, issued the following statement:

“Oregon’s wolf management to date has worked exceedingly well and these numbers prove it. Oregon’s wolf management plan prioritizes the use of non-lethal conflict avoidance tools, such as livestock guarding dogs or fencing, to reduce potential livestock-wolf conflicts. This approach is one of the reasons we’re seeing a recovering wolf population while simultaneously seeing a decrease in livestock-wolf conflict.

“In order for Oregon to maintain its success and leadership in wolf conservation, it is essential that the state maintain these precautionary and protective measures for wolves statewide. What Oregon does not need is politicians interfering with the state’s wolf management, and right now, that is exactly what is occurring.

“As early as this week, a bill that legislatively delists wolves – and opens the floodgates for the legislature to make politically driven decisions in the future about the fate of Oregon's imperiled species– could be sent to Governor Brown to be vetoed or signed into law. This bill puts politics above science and is an unfortunate distraction from the real work that needs to be done to update the wolf management plan this year.”


  • The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted 4-2 last November to remove gray wolves from the state list of endangered species. At this time, it committed to moving quickly to complete an update to Oregon’s state wolf management plan. First drafted in 2005 and renewed in 2010, this plan sets the regulatory standards for managing wolves in the state and is overdue for a planned update.
  • HB4040 – a bill that legislatively delists wolves and opens the door for the legislature to make politically driven decisions about the fate of imperiled animals across Oregon – is moving through Oregon’s legislature and could be sent to Governor Brown to be signed into law or vetoed as early as this week.


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