Oregon wolves had at least four pups this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today.
The pups were first spotted in August 27 on a trail camera. They're all part of one pack—named the Indigo pack.
One of the four pups—a 52-pound female—got a collar on September in the Umpqua National Forest, from Oregon Department of Fish and Wild Service and and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff. That's so she she can be tracked.
"The GPS collar included a biodegradable foam spacer so the collar will continue to fit as the wolf grows into an adult; she is currently nearly six months old (wolf pups are born in mid-April)," the USFWS announced.
She's the 80th wolf to get a collar in Oregon; wildlife services try to have a tracking collar on at least one wolf in every pack. She is the first wolf in the Indigo wolf pack to get a collar.
Oregon, according to the 2018 wolf census, had 137 individual wolves in 16 packs.
Wolves are protected under federal law in the eastern portion of Oregon where the pups were spotted.
Oregon killed off its entire wolf population by 1947. Wolves returned to the state from Idaho in 1999.
Wolves lost their protection under the state endangered species law in 2007, an action that has been challenged in court. In 2011, Congress removed federal protection for the eastern part of the state. And this year the Trump administration has proposed to delist the species, removing the remaining protection.
The state has opposed that action, as have advocates.
"It's heartwarming to see photos of this wolf family running through the forests of western Oregon, but we've got to keep them protected," said Amaroq Weiss, senior West Coast wolf advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity in a statement. "If we want these wonderful animals to survive and flourish, we have to ensure the Trump administration doesn't take away their Endangered Species Act safeguards."