The reward now stands at $6,150 for information about a wolf poaching incident in Baker County on or around Sept 24. The reward includes $300 or five hunter preference points offered through the Turn In Poachers (TIP) program if the information leads to a citation in the case.
The crime occurred northwest of New Bridge in the Skull Creek drainage of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest on Forest Service Road 7741. OSP Fish and Wildlife troopers recovered the carcass of a black wolf with a pink radio collar off the 125 spur road, about one mile east of Eagle Forks campground. It had been shot, according to OSP Fish and Wildlife Lieutenant Tim Schwartz.
The wolf was the breeding male of the Cornucopia Pack in eastern Baker County. He and the breeding female were both radio-collared and tracked by ODFW biologists as part of Oregon’s wolf monitoring program. They became a bonded pair in 2019 and raised three pups that year.
The future of the Cornucopia pack is now uncertain. For monitoring purposes, a pack is defined as four or more wolves traveling together in winter. When packs lose a breeding adult, the remaining members may stay together or they may disband, opening the territory for other wolves to move in. Biologists won’t know the outcome until spring, according to Roblyn Brown, Wolf Program Coordinator for ODFW.
Brown is concerned about the impact of poaching on conservation efforts and illegal take is identified as a potential conservation threat in the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. “Poaching of any wildlife is wrong and harmful to conservation,” Brown said.
Ongoing wolf poaching incidents also frustrate groups that advocate for wolves in Oregon.
Oregon Wild and Center for Biological Diversity each contributed $2,500 and NE Oregon Ecosystems added another $850 to the reward amount as an incentive to generate leads in the shooting death of the pink-collared wolf.
“We are heartbroken to learn of another illegal wolf killing in Oregon,” said Amaroq Weiss, a West Coast wolf advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity. “We hope someone will come forward quickly with information to solve this case.”
Danielle Moser, Wildlife Program Coordinator for Oregon Wild, echoes those thoughts.
“Stakeholders and agency officials all emphatically agree that poaching is abhorrent and remains an impediment to wolf recovery across Oregon,” she said.
“I hope this reward will inspire some citizen to come forward with information leading to the killer,” said Wally Sykes with Northeast Oregon Ecosystems.
“Poaching is a heinous crime and a serious threat to Oregon’s wildlife,” said Sristi Kamal, Senior Northwest Representative for Defenders of Wildlife, “The recent poaching of a wolf in Baker county is very disheartening and perpetrators of such a crime should be held accountable. We will continue to work with ODFW on their anti-poaching efforts to promote coexistence between Oregonians and the wildlife with whom we share the landscape.”