Through trapping, poisoning and shooting, government agents and bounty hunters killed off every last gray wolf in Oregon, Washington and California by the 1940s. However, the species has begun to make a remarkable comeback in the Pacific West as wolves have migrated west after a successful re-introduction into the northern Rockies in the mid-1990s. Today, approximately 158 individuals and 31 packs including 19 breeding pairs, now call Oregon home. Washington reported 108 individuals and 21 packs including 10 breeding pairs. In 2015, an alpha pair had pups in California for the first time in nearly a century. Today, California has 1 pack in residence comprising of an estimated count of 14 individuals including the breeding pair, four sub-adults, and 8 new pups.
Misinformation, fear mongering, poaching and lethal control continue to confront gray wolves as they mount their historic comeback in the Pacific West. Cascadia Wildlands and allies are working tirelessly to protect and restore a viable population of wolves across the Northwest through advocacy, outreach, education and litigation. We are also a founding member and sit on the steering committee of the Pacific Wolf Coalition, which was formed in 2012 to promote gray wolf recovery in the Pacific West. Click here for more information and resources on gray wolf recovery. Visit our chronology of Oregon wolf recovery since 2008.
As of October 2020, wolves in the lower 48 states have been delisted by USFWS.
For more information:
Pack — a group of wolves, usually consisting of a male, female and their offspring from one or more years. For purposes of monitoring, a pack may be defined as a group of four or more wolves traveling together in winter. Ongoing and future wolf research may refine this definition for monitoring purposes.
Breeding pair — an adult male and an adult female wolf with at least two pups that survived to December 31 of the year of their birth.