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 137 individuals and 16 packs or alpha pairs now call Oregon home. Similar numbers have been restored into Washington, with 126 individuals and 27 packs. In 2015, an alpha pair had pups in California for the first time in nearly a century. Today, California has an estimated count of 6 individuals and 1 pack in residence.
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.
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.