September Wildlife Update

It’s truly something to celebrate, especially as Oregon moves closer to the state’s shores for the reintroduction of this important, charismatic species.

The 2021 Annual Wolf Report revealed a population in crisis and specifically that human-caused mortality (poaching, vehicle strikes and ODFW-authorized kills) is the main factor blocking recovery nationwide. In western Oregon, where we saw a further decline in wolf packs and breeding pairs, many wildlife conservationists had growing concerns about the wolves’ ability to safely find new habitats and start families of their own.

That’s why we are very excited to see that another wolf family has been spotted in the northern Cascade Mountains. Just last week, ODFW wildlife officials confirmed this new pack — which consists of two adults and two pups — at the Warm Springs Confederate Tribes Reservation. Couple that with the other (relatively) recent news of new wolves confirmed in central Oregon, and the recovery of wolves in western Oregon appears to be on a better path. You might still want to knock on wood, cross your fingers, or take some other action to get lucky, just to be sure!

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This Sea Otter Awareness Week, we are pleased to report that Oregon continues to make strides in species recovery. If you’re not familiar with the history of Oregon’s sea otters and why we’re the only Pacific Coast state without a resident population, be sure to check out our podcast The Lost Sea Otters of Oregon.

Reintroduction efforts are quite an undertaking. It requires a lot of analysis, permitting, community engagement, etc. Typically, the first question to answer is: is this ecologically feasible? After two separate feasibility studies (one with a team of independent scientists in partnership with the Elakha Alliance and another with the US Fish and Wildlife Service) it was determined that this is entirely possible. Or as the USFWS report put it: “Reintroducing sea otters to their historical ranges in northern California and Oregon would have several significant biological and ecological benefits for the coastal marine ecosystem.”

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The positive conclusions from these assessments are incredibly important as they form the basis for sea otter reintroduction. There’s still a long way to go before we can see otters floating in Oregon’s waters again. But we’re glad the wheels are in motion and giving us something to celebrate Sea Otter Awareness Week!

The restoration of America’s Wildlife Act, a bipartisan federal piece of legislation that would invest $1.3 billion in protecting wildlife across the country, is still poised to clear its final hurdle: the US Senate. As you’ve read in almost every monthly wolf pack newsletter, the importance of passing this law cannot be overstated. If RAWA passes, it would mean an annual allocation of $25 million for Oregon’s non-wildlife recovery and recovery programs. If you haven’t already, please call Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (202-224-6542) and ask him to pass the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act today!

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Finally! Beavers are beginning to get the attention and praise they deserve. Or as Mother Jones magazine put it: “It’s about dam time.”

Well, that’s super cool and helpful! Check out this new bird chart, which informs you about different bird species, their migration patterns and conservation needs.

Which animals can best adapt to climate change? The answers may surprise you.

We took a brief hiatus from our Wild webcast program over the summer months, but they’re back! Stay tuned for upcoming webinar events this fall and be sure to register. You won’t want to miss it!

If you love Oregon’s diverse wildlife, majestic wilderness and clean water, then this is the event for you! Please join us on Friday, October 14, 2022 in Portland for our biggest benefit of the year, call of the Wild. There will be food, games, drinks, raffle prizes, silent auction and more! We hope to see you there.

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