May Wildlife Update: wolves, legislation, Fish and Wildlife Commission and more

Wenaha female from ODFW

A Challenging Time for Wolves

The loss of federal endangered species protections for wolves is putting recovery in peril. Read more to learn about ways you can speak up for our gray wolf population!


We’re not surprised, but we’re still disappointed. The federal government’s decision to remove wolves from the endangered species list earlier this year has invited politicians and bureaucrats with outdated ideas about wildlife management to endorse the wholesale slaughter of the species. Over the last several months, we’ve seen individual states pass legislation and other policies to expand trophy huntingtrapping, and snaring -- putting the recovery of this species across the country in jeopardy. For example, Idaho just passed a bill which allows wildlife managers, members of the public, and hired guns to kill up to 90% of the state’s wolf population. 

And while Oregon doesn’t currently allow a public trophy hunting or trapping season for wolves, recovery across Oregon, while progressing, is slow. In fact, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife recently released the annual wolf report and while the population increased by 9.5% (bringing the total to 173), the number of breeding pairs went down, no new packs were identified in Western Oregon, and human-caused fatality was alarming.

Wolves were largely exterminated across the country and are still making a comeback across their historic range. We shouldn’t invite history to repeat itself. Please join the 115 wolf experts and scientists that are calling for the federal government to restore protections for wolves, by sending a comment to the Biden administration today!  


It’s official! Dr. Kathayoon Khalil has been confirmed as the next Fish and Wildlife Commissioner. Thank you to everyone who made a call to their state senator! It’s wonderful that an individual with extensive experience in wildlife conservation research and implementation, biology, and social science was appointed to the Commission.

As we move through this legislative session, certain bills are starting to fall by the wayside, while others are charging ahead. Despite our collective best efforts and overwhelming support, HB 2728 -- the bill to end coyote killing contests in Oregon-- has officially died. This is really unfortunate and highlights the continued efforts of some legislators to use wildlife issues to drive political conflict. As always, we’ll keep fighting for Oregon’s wildlife.

In other legislative news, HB 3204 -- a bill to help Oregon prepare and prevent zoonotic diseases (like COVID-19)-- seems to be stuck in legislative limbo. If passed, this legislation would help prevent transmission of disease from animals to humans by strengthening state-agency coordination and improving prevention, monitoring and response plans. It will also help avert future public health crises and economic disruptions by banning live wildlife markets and reducing avenues for disease transmission associated with the import, trade and handling of wildlife. In the last year, we’ve all come to know the hardships that come from pandemics. That’s why we need to pass HB 3204 and help ensure Oregon is better prepared to protect people and wildlife. 


Oregon tribes are reintroducing beavers to help create important habitat for First Foods. Learn about those efforts in this story

Another wolf has crossed Oregon into California. OR-103 is the latest wolf to make the long journey.


We are extremely grateful to all of you for joining our weekly webcasts. If you missed any or want to learn about upcoming events, you can find them here


As mentioned above, we could really use your help to get HB 3204 passed! If you live in Oregon, please contact your state legislator and ask them to support this legislation which will help Oregon prepare for and prevent zoonotic diseases.

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