Colorado’s wolf reintroduction effort is going forward with the promise of 10 wolves from Oregon. Last week, the states’ fish and game agencies officially signed an agreement, which will relocate wolves from the northeast part of Oregon and deliver them to Colorado in December, according to Channel 9 News.
“This agreement will help ensure Colorado Parks and Wildlife can meet its statutory mandate to begin releasing wolves in Colorado by December 31, 2023,” said Jeff Davis, director of Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW).
The wolves are “most abundant” in this part of Oregon and relocating them “will not impact conservation goals,” said Curt Melcher, director of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).
Capture will begin in December with CPW paying all costs associated with capturing and transporting the wolves, including the use of helicopter crews and spotter planes, testing and treating wolves for disease, attaching GPS collars and obtaining physical measurements while in the field and the transportation from Oregon to Colorado via truck or plane in aluminum crates, according to Channel 9 News.
Once in the state, “the wolves will be released at ‘select sights’” in order minimize any stress as soon as possible, said Eric Odell, CPW wolf conservation program manager.
“CPW will aim to capture and reintroduce an equal number of males and females,” said Odell. “We anticipate that the majority of animals will be in the 1- to 5-year-old range, which is the age that animals would typically disperse from the pack they were born in.”
CPW hopes to select only healthy wolves for the effort as well as those without a prior history of depredation.
As GOHUNT previously reported, Colorado’s voter-approved wolf reintroduction effort is nearing its deadline of Dec. 31, 2023. Prior to Oregon’s decision to provide 10 “source” wolves to the cause, the state had met obstacles in obtaining wolves for this project.
“We are deeply grateful for Oregon’s partnership in this endeavor, and we are now one step closer to fulfilling the will of the voters in time,” said Colorado Gov. Jared Polis.
Stay tuned to GOHUNT for further updates.