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OR: Wolf meanders near Ashland

By Mark Freeman / (Medford) Mail Tribune

Wandering wolf OR-7 has been meandering in the Greensprings area east of Ashland this week, marking the farthest west he’s been since he left northeastern Oregon in September to seek a mate.

The famous wolf with the GPS collar was tracked Thursday morning in the mountains southwest of Hyatt Lake after he was tracked northeast of the lake Wednesday, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“This would be his westernmost travel to date,” said Michelle Dennehy, the ODFW’s wolf program spokeswoman. “He’s been in this area for about a week now.”

The nearly 3-year-old male wolf began his latest stint in Jackson County after spending more than two months wandering throughout Northern California in what biologists call classic “dispersal” activity as he seeks new territory and a mate.

He has traveled more than 2,000 miles under the glare of the media since he ventured away from the Imnaha Pack northeast of Enterprise.

When he first crossed the Cascades in November, he became one of the first wolves tracked in Central Oregon in about 70 years. When his GPS collar pinged in Siskiyou County on Dec. 28, he became the first known wolf in the Golden State since 1924.

While in Oregon, the wolf is protected as an endangered species under state and federal versions of the Endangered Species Act.