Looks like the Oregon wolves are really starting to claim their old territories.
In some big news coming out of Oregon, remote trail cams have captured a pair of wolves in the northern Cascade mountains. Biologists confirmed these Oregon wolves were unknown to them due to the fact they aren't wearing radio collars. As you might have guessed, debate is now raging between scientists, ranchers, hunters and activists on how Oregonians should handle their now-expanding wolf populations.
Before this sighting, wolves have been documented in other places in the state. For example, radio-collared wolves live in the White River Wildlife Area and also the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. These two, though, mark an incredible comeback story due to the fact wolves haven't been seen in this area for a very long time.
As a result of wolves repopulating Oregon, attacks on livestock are also on the rise.
"Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), ranchers don't have any way of protecting their livestock, other than using non-lethal methods," said regional co-chair Veril Nelson of the Oregon Cattlemen's Association in an interview. "If those methods don't work, and sometimes they don't, we're kind of hung out to dry."
At last estimates, scientists believe there are at least 113 wolves in the state. Reasonable doubt suggests there are a lot more. If that's the case, populations of large game animals are soon to be going on the decline.
How the state is going to handle this growing population is yet to be seen. I think we all have the feeling this story is far from over.
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