|A radio-collared wolf dubbed OR7|
It has been reported that for the first time in 88 years a gray wolf has been spotted crossing into California from Oregon. A young male wolf, dubbed OR7 by biologists, was tracked by his GPS collar as he crossed into California on 28th of December. He was born in Oregon to a pack that originally came from Idaho, where the species was reintroduced during mid-1990s. The news, however, was no surprise to officials such as Jordan Traverso of the California Fish and Game Department in Sacremento and Patrick Valentino of the California Wolf Center who knew that something like this would happen. Since their dramatic recovery during the mid-1990s, the gray wolf population has reached a point to which they are delisted as endangered species. According to Gary Frazer of the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, there are an estimated 1,800 wolves in the Rocky Mountains and 3,000 in the states of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. While the wolf populations in those states are being controlled through management, in California it is a different story. That is, they are still considered endangered and will likely stay that way for years, though it is a discussion that is just starting. In the meantime, only one wolf has been recorded which is not much of a worry to ranchers like Jack Cowley. However, he stated that more wolves would come after one moves in.
|OR7 captured on film|
I'm very much amazed to see that California has just witnessed the arrival of its first gray wolf in 88 years. It's arrival has sparked optimism among conservationists but also concern to the local ranchers. I personally think it is truly a momentous occassion since wolves had once disappeared from California, and now with the arrival of this one, the wolf population in California is on the verge of making a comeback. With the arrival of the wolf, it's very likely the ecosystem of northern California will be kept further in balance as these animals will keep the local deer and elk population in check. However, it is also possible the animals could turn to preying on livestock and for this I think it would be useful for the ranchers to employ harmless techniques in preventing such losses. The best idea would be to employ livestock guardian dogs to protect the animals. This type of technique is being used by farmers in Catalonia. With these dogs present, it is very likely the wolves will not wander into human territory. Elsewhere in the Rocky Mountains and Great Lakes regions, wolves are being controlled through legalized hunting due to increase in populations. But in the Isle Royale National Park, their populations are considerably low with the lack of females. This, in my opinion, should be taken care of with reintroduction of more wolves into the national park from the surrounding region. This tactic would not only help reboost Isle Royale's wolf population, but keep the population in the Great Lakes region in check in a harmless way.
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