The Wenaha Pack was first gray wolf pack discovered in Oregon since grey wolf reintroduction efforts began in the Rockies. They were discovered with pups, July 21st, 2008. In 2010 two Wenaha pups were trapped and released, confirming at least two pups were born that year. The following year trail camera footage captured images of wolves from the Wenaha Pack, including at least four adult wolves. Later in 2011 an image of a pup was captured on a trail cam, confirming at least one pup for 2011.
By 2012 the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife documented seven pups in Wenaha Pack. Genetic test results found that OR-12, the breeding male of the Wenaha Pack, is progeny of the Imnaha pack (OR-2 and OR-4). OR-12 is the first wolf confirmed to have been born into one pack in Oregon (Imnaha), then dispersed and successfully bred in a different Oregon pack.
In 2013 parvovirus hit the Wenaha Pack hard. Two wolves (1 pup and 1 sub-adult) were confirmed to have died from parvovirus and this disease likely affected the other pups as well. These were the first documented cases of death in wolves by this disease in Oregon. Outbreaks of parvovirus have been documented throughout wolf populations in the western United States. If you have a pet dog, parvovirus might sound familiar because domestic dogs are usually vaccinated for it. It is relatively common in domestic dogs and is highly contagious, occasionally being transferred into wild canine populations such as wolf, fox, and coyote. There is no evidence that other wolf packs in Oregon are affected by the virus, but it remains a concern.
By the end of 2015 no collared wolves remained in this pack after OR-13 dispersed in February, and was later found dead (poisoned). Though this pack has historically spent time in Washington, most of the pack’s locations, and the den, were in Oregon therefore this pack is counted in Oregon’s wolf population.
In 2016 and 2017, the pair produced at least four pups that survived to the end of the year. In 2018, reproduction was not confirmed. The breeding female disappeared in the summer of 2018. She was at least ten years old, and her condition appeared poor in remote photos.
A new breeding female is leading the pack for 2020 – see her photo in the gallery below. A radio-collared male wolf (WA90M) from the Grouse Flats Pack in Washington dispersed into Oregon and joined the pack in 2019. At least two pups survived to the end of 2019 and were counted in the 2019-2020 winter survey.
Two more pups were born that survived through the end of 2020, when the pack was again counted as a breeding pair. ODFW reported radio-collar data showing a 241 square mile use are for the pack with 86% of data points located on public lands and 14% on private lands.
Known Pack Members
OR-6: A gray male of the Wenaha pack, OR-6 was collared on August 4, 2010. At the time, the collaring operation was said to be the most extensive and exhaustive ever carried out in Oregon. OR-6 weighed 97 pounds, but sadly, he didn’t live to grow any bigger. Just a few days later, OR-6 was killed by a poacher. A $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of his killer remains unclaimed.
OR-12: Radio-collared April 12, 2012. November 19, 2012. DNA analysis of wolf scats in the Wenaha Pack territory confirms that OR-12 is the breeding male of the Wenaha Pack. OR-12 is the first wolf confirmed to have been born into one pack in Oregon (Imnaha), then dispersed and successfully bred in a different Oregon pack.
OR-13: Radio-collared June 10 2012. Found dead (poisoned) August 2015.
OR-19: Six days after being collared, this yearling female from the Wenaha Pack was found dead on May 17, 2013. A necropsy showed that she had died of parvovirus. About a month later, a male pup from the same pack was found dead and was determined to have died from the parvovirus as well.
OR-21: Female wolf. Radio-collared June 3, 2013 in northern Wallowa County. She dispersed into the Sled Springs Unit in late 2014 where she paired up with a male wolf and established the Sled Springs Pack. In August 205 OR-21 and her mate were found dead for unknown reasons, and the status of the pups is unknown.
Current Numbers: 7
Pack Status: Designated on July 21st, 2008.