There is a wolverine in East Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains

Tracks of a male found in the rugged mountain wilderness-

Although it might just be passing through, this is a first for this mountain fastness.

Last summer, my spouse (Jackie) staffed a fire tower on the edge of the Eagle Cap Wilderness, which covers much of the mountain range.

Wallowa Mountains from Deadman Point. Aug. 2010. Copyright Ralph Maughan

The creation of the vast Eagle Cap Wilderness, plus a number of subsequent additions, was a great conservation victory.

Story. Wolverine tracks found for first time in Wallowa County. Researchers seek to answer if animal was loner or part of pack. East Oregonian.
Regarding this headline . . . wolverine don’t form packs.

Disease Jumps From Domestic to Wild Sheep

More reporting about the bighorn/domestic sheep disease study

Other than the study itself, this is the first time that I’ve heard Dr. Srikmaran talk about last year’s study which confirms that domestic sheep diseases kill bighorn sheep.

“I am not that happy about this finding. Some people’s livelihood depends on domestic sheep,” [But the] “organisms did not exist anywhere else. They could only come from one place, the domestic sheep.” – Dr. Subramaniam Srikmaran

Some people who support the sheep industry have made misrepresentations of what the study actually says. They say that “these data show that even extended fence line contact of 2 months didn’t lead to disease and death. Disease required co-mingling for a minimum of 48 hours and this was after transmission had already occurred in three of the bighorn sheep.”

I’ve had the chance to read the study and, in fact, it does not say that it took two days of commingling to produce disease. It says that one of the sheep died within two days of the beginning of commingling portion of the experiment. All four of the bighorn sheep, even the one which did not contract M. haemolytica during the fenceline portion of the study died within 9 days of the beginning of the commingling portion of the study. There is no evidence to support the claim that “disease required co-mingling for a minimum of 48 hours”.

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Pair of wolves moves into Eastern Oregon

At least it looks like a pair of wolves, rather than a single wolf has moved into Oregon. The tracks of the pair (and there could be more) have been repeatedly seen in the canyon and high peak country of the Wallowa Mountains.

Story in the Baker, Oregon (Baker City Herald). newspaper. Local wolves not all lone. By Jayson Jacoby.

When the wolf is delisted, slated for late February, any wolves in Eastern Oregon will lose their federal protection because the USFWS was careful to draw the delisting lines to more sure good wolf habitat adjacent to Idaho in other states would not be protected. Fortunately, Oregon does have a state wolf protection plan in place.