OREGON WOLF CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT PLAN · PDF file 27 B. Elk and Mule Deer Populations...

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Transcript of OREGON WOLF CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT PLAN · PDF file 27 B. Elk and Mule Deer Populations...

  • 4/12/19 Draft Wolf Plan Update Attachment 3

    1

    OREGON 2 WOLF CONSERVATION AND 3

    MANAGEMENT PLAN 4 5

    6 7

    8 9 10

    OREGON DEPARTMENT OF 11 FISH AND WILDLIFE 12

    13 DRAFT, APRIL 2019 14

  • 4/12/19 Draft Wolf Plan Update Attachment 3

    Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan Page | ii

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1

    (April 2019) 2

    3

    The Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan (Plan) was first adopted in 2005 and updated in 4 2010. This update, which began in March 2016, is the result of a thorough, multi-year evaluation of 5 the Plan and included a facilitated stakeholder process. Some of the changes contained within this 6 Plan are general updates and reorganization of content. Other changes are more substantive in 7 nature, and include management improvements based on information gained over years of wolf 8 management in Oregon. In general, changes made in this Plan include: 1) updates to base 9 information (i.e., status, population, distribution, etc.), 2) new science related to the biology and 10 management of wolves, and 3) management improvements based on information gained through 11 years of wolf management in Oregon. Chapter II (Wolf Conservation and Monitoring) includes 12 detailed information on the three phases of wolf management and discusses the state’s two wolf 13 management zones. Chapter III (Wolf as Special Status Game Mammal) is a new chapter comprised 14 of content from the previous plan and addresses the Special Status Game Mammal definition and 15 conditions of that definition. Chapter IV (Wolf-Livestock Conflicts) includes information on the use 16 of non-lethal deterrents, the use of controlled take in certain situations, and expands livestock 17 producer options for investigating potential wolf depredations of livestock. Chapter V (Wolf-18 Ungulate Interactions, and Interactions With Other Carnivores) addresses interactions between and 19 impacts of wolves and other wildlife species. Chapter VI (Wolf-Human Interactions) addresses the 20 types of wolf-human interactions and strategies for reducing negative situations. The final chapters 21 address strategies for plan implementation and future direction and include Chapter VII: 22 Information and Education, Chapter VIII: Reporting and Evaluation, IX: Research and Information 23 Management, and Chapter X: Budget for Implementation. 24 25 26 Readers should note that while some sections of earlier Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission 27

    (Commission) adopted Plans are condensed or combined in this 2019 Plan, earlier adopted Plans 28

    will continue to be made available on the ODFW wolf website at 29

    http://www.dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/index.asp. 30

    31

    The Plan’s goal remains the same: 32

    33 To ensure the conservation of gray wolves as required by Oregon law while protecting the 34

    social and economic interests of all Oregonians. 35

    The 2005 Plan was originally crafted using an adaptive approach that requires periodic and formal 36

    evaluation using information gained through the actual management of wolves. The Oregon 37

    Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) considered the following principles while reviewing and 38

    updating the Plan. 39

     Adhere to the factors included in the 2015 delisting analysis when considering any proposed 40

    changes. 41

     Maintain conservation focus for wolves in all population phases. 42

     Maintain flexible management options of the 2005 Plan when addressing conflict as the wolf 43

    population increases. 44

    http://www.dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/index.asp

  • 4/12/19 Draft Wolf Plan Update

    Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan Page | iii

     Address ODFW personnel and budget limitations when evaluating future commitments. 1

     Develop an effective workload sharing program with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2

    (USFWS) to monitor expanding wolf populations and address wolf-livestock conflicts in the 3

    federally listed portion of Oregon. 4

    5

    Gray Wolves (Canis lupus) were listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act 6

    (ESA) and the state ESA when the Plan was updated in 2010. Gray wolves were establishing in 7

    northeastern Oregon at that time; today, the status of wolves in the state is more complex. In 2011, 8

    the USFWS delisted the gray wolf from the federal ESA east of Oregon Highways 395, 78, and 95 as 9

    part of the larger Northern Rocky Mountain Distinct Population Segment; wolves west of this 10

    boundary remained federally listed. In January 2015, the Oregon conservation population objective 11

    was reached in the East Wolf Management Zone. The Commission initiated a biological status 12

    review to determine if the species required continued listing under the Oregon ESA. That review 13

    led to the delisting of wolves in Oregon in November 2015. While these changes represent 14

    landmarks in the modern history of the gray wolf, this Plan strives to provide continued 15

    conservation and effective management of wolves into the future. 16

    The objectives and strategies contained within this Plan are intended to serve multiple functions into 17

    the future – they provide management guidance to address wolf-livestock conflicts, monitor wolf 18

    population and health factors, evaluate wolf interactions with native ungulate and other carnivore 19

    populations, conduct wolf-related research, and address wolf-human interactions. The Plan also 20

    identifies potential conservation threats for managers to consider when considering a number of 21

    management activities. While Oregon’s wolf population is predicted to continue to grow and 22

    expand its distribution, it is unclear at this time what the future population and specific distribution 23

    will be. This Plan contains strategies which direct ODFW to develop detailed and predictive 24

    population models which will improve understanding of potential occurrence, habitat suitability, 25

    potential wolf range, and will inform the development of future population and distribution goals. 26

    Wolves have reached Phase III population levels in eastern Oregon, but the state’s wolf population 27

    is still relatively small at this time. Wolves occur in both eastern Oregon forested areas, and the 28

    forests of the Cascade Mountains. However, the extent they will successfully expand into the 29

    Oregon coast range is undetermined. This Plan strives to provide a framework by which the 30

    management of this species may, at some point in the future, transition to a management approach 31

    similar to other wildlife in Oregon, while continuing to recognize the unique history of the species. 32

  • 4/12/19 Draft Wolf Plan Update

    Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan Page | iv

    OREGON WOLF CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT PLAN 1

    Table of Contents 2

    I. INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................................... 1 3

     A. Background .................................................................................................... 1 4

     B. History of Wolves in Oregon ..................................................................... 1 5

     C. Biology and Ecology .................................................................................... 3 6

     E. Legal Status .................................................................................................... 5 7

     F. Wolf Plan Development and Update ....................................................... 7 8

    II. WOLF CONSERVATION AND MONITORING .............................................. 8 9

     A. Wolf Distribution .......................................................................................... 8 10

     B. Population Objectives and Management Phases .............................. 13 11

     C. Potential Conservation Threats .............................................................. 19 12

     D. Monitoring Wolf Populations .................................................................. 28 13

     E. Coordination with Other Governments, Agencies, and 14 Organizations .................................................................................. 29 15

    III. WOLVES AS SPECIAL STATUS GAME MAMMALS .................................. 31 16

    IV. WOLF-LIVESTOCK CONFLICTS ...................................................................... 33 17

     A. Livestock Depredation and Other Effects ........................................... 33 18

     B. Working Dog and Pet Depredation ....................................................... 36 19

     C. Tools for Minimizing Livestock Depredation .................................... 37 20

     D. Strategies to Address Livestock Conflict .............................................. 44 21

     E. Agency Response to Wolf Depredation ................................................ 52 22

     F. Livestock Producer Assistance ............................................................... 54 23

    V. WOL