Yesterday, Tuesday, Feb. 21, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced it has launched an effort to capture wolves, elk and deer in Northeastern California using helicopters in order fit the animals with GPS location collars. According to a release from CDFW, this is the first time helicopters have been used to capture and collar gray wolves in California.
Recent efforts to capture and collar the wolves on the ground have been unsuccessful, but CDFW reports the use of helicopters for this purpose has been successful in both Oregon and Washington.
No wolves in the Whaleback Pack in Siskiyou County and the Lassen Pack in Lassen and Plumas counties have functioning GPS collars which are used to track the location of the wolves — data that is shared with the ranchers and livestock producers to reduce conflicts between wolves and livestock. The collars transmit data twice a day, so they are not a reliable source for real-time data.
According to the statement, “Captured and collared mule deer and Rocky Mountain elk will enhance CDFW’s knowledge of distribution, abundance, migration patterns, recruitment, survival and habitat use.”