istock_wolfAbout a year ago, biologists officially ID’ed a wolf hanging around in Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains. It was a pioneer of sorts, striking out west in search of open territory away from the denser populations of the east. (In this case, the wolf probably traveled from central Idaho.)

Today comes news that Oregon may now have its first family of wild wolves since they were killed off in the early 20th century:

For the first time, state fish and wildlife trackers have physical evidence that two wolves have paired up after moving into northeastern Oregon from Idaho.

Tracks found by a rancher in snow near the southern edge of the Eagle Cap Wilderness about 20 miles north of Baker City appear to be from two wolves walking side-by-side. One set of tracks was larger than the other, which could mean one is male and one female.


Reintroduced in the West in the 1990s, wolves have surely been one of the brightest spots in endangered species recovery. When left alone in rugged wild country—the sort of terrain that the Northwest has in adundance—they flourishandexpand with remarkable vigor. Now, Oregon’s lucky enough to welcome wolves back after a 70 year absence.