young, black wolf appears to be roaming a
roughly 120-square-mile section of Wallowa County in northeast Oregon, biologists say.
The animal was videotaped in late July and has been sighted repeatedly since then. A local
rancher spotted it Sunday near some cows, but it ran off when the rancher drove toward it.
The wolf appears to be alone, biologists said. It is protected by both the federal
Endangered Species Act and Oregon's own state Endangered Species Act.
Biologists have long predicted wolves would arrive in Oregon from Idaho, where they were
reintroduced in 1995. The wolf population in Idaho is booming.
It is the first wolf known to take up residence in Oregon since approval of a state
management plan for wolves. The plan sets a goal of four breeding pairs of wolves each in
Eastern Oregon and Western Oregon, and calls for state biologists to monitor them.
Biologists said they are trying to identify areas frequented by the wolf. If they can,
they will try to capture it and fit it with a radio collar so they can monitor its
activity more carefully.
Officials have been informing local ranchers of the wolf's reported movements, they said.
Biologists still have not confirmed separate sightings of what may be another wolf or
wolves in the nearby Wallowa Mountains.
-- Michael Milstein
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