Biologists continue to monitor Lassen Pack

According to a report from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, wolves did not kill a calf discovered Jan. 19 on private land in Northern Plumas County. A 2-day old calf weighing about 55 pounds was discovered deceased and had been dead approximately two days.

According to investigators, “There was no evidence of predator attack. No chase, struggle (or) kill area were observed. There was no subcutaneous hemorrhaging found anywhere on the carcass … There was no evidence of predation by any species.”

The animal’s vital organs and flanks had been consumed and “the tracks of at least two wolves were found around the carcass.”

Investigators also reported GPS collar data confirmed LAS01F, the female of the Lassen Pack, was a little more than a quarter-mile away the day before and the day the dead animal was discovered.

Quarterly update
CDFW continues to monitor the Lassen Pack, according to a quarterly update posted at the agency’s website, wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/mammals/gray-wolf.

According to that report, CDFW and Wildlife Services conducted 10 investigations into the injuries or death of 11 animals between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2017 to determine if wolves were involved.

Investigators confirmed one calf had been killed by wolves; one calf probably had been killed by wolves; one adult cow probably had been injured by wolves; three calves and an adult cow died from natural causes; it’s unknown if one calf and one adult cow were killed by wolves; and, one chicken was killed, two are missing and one duck was killed by a domestic dog.

Between October and December, state biologists continued to monitor the satellite collar locations frequently by the Lassen Pack in order to collect information regarding their diet and landscape use.

In October, a black wolf appeared to join or become loosely affiliated with the pack, but toward the end of the year it appears to no longer be traveling with the pack, although it could still be in the Lassen and Plumas county area.

Further genetic testing confirms the breeding members of the pack are the same animals identified last year.

Three of four pups have been identified (two females and one male), and additional samples have been collected to identify the fourth pup.

Hopefully, studies will also provide information about the origins of the fourth wolf.
Except for the mysterious black wolf, biologists say there is no significant news to report. Trail cam monitors in the old Shasta Pack territory detected no wolves.

“CDFW continues to receive and investigate reports of wolf presence from many parts of California,” the website reports. “Public reports are an important tool for us. Please report wolves or wolf sign on the CDFW Gray Wolf web page at wildlife.can.gov/Conservation/Mammals/Gray-Wolf/Sighting-Report. We also continue to operate trail cameras and conduct filed surveys in eastern Siskiyou County, the general area used by the old Shasta Pack in 2015.”

The website also reports numerous communications with “livestock producers, range riders, conservation organizations and private timberland owners and managers” in Susanville, Redding, Sacramento, Quincy, Walnut Creek, Yreka, Fall River Mills and Chico.