This photograph of a young OR-54, a descendent of the famous OR-7, the first wild wolf in California in nearly a century, was taken just after she was fitted with a GPS collar. Due to GPS data from her collar, she is believed to be the lone wolf responsible for a September 2019 wolf kill and calf injury reported in Plumas County. File photo

OR-54 found dead in Shasta County

OR-54, a female dispersing wolf approximately 3-4 years old, was found dead in Shasta County on Feb. 5.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife provided no information regarding the cause of death.

OR-54 was born into Oregon’s Rogue Pack most likely in 2016. She was the fourth Rogue Pack wolf known to have spent time in California. OR-54 weighed 83 pounds when collared by ODFW biologists in October 2017.

On Jan. 24, 2018, she crossed the state line into eastern Siskiyou County. Since then, she spent much of her time in California, although she made two trips back to Oregon. She covered more than 7,646 miles after leaving the Rogue Pack.

OR-54 traveled widely in northeastern California, through portions of Butte, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama counties. In late September 2019, she crossed to the south side of Interstate 80 and briefly entered Nevada before returning to California and crossing back to the north side of the highway the following day. Her travels represent the southernmost known wolf locations in the state since wolves returned to California in 2011.

Gray wolves are covered under both the  Federal Endangered Species Act as well as the California Endangered Species Act. CDFW takes very seriously any threats to this recovering wolf population. They are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding OR-54’s death. That remind the public that killing a wolf is a potential crime and subject to serious penalties including imprisonment.