State expert discusses wolves, their habits at Nevada City discussion |

State expert discusses wolves, their habits at Nevada City discussion

This is a photo of a gray wolf taken in 2008. On Thursday night, a wolf specialist provided an informational session in Nevada City on OR-54, which crossed into Nevada County in 2018, and other wolves.
Associated Press | U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

In June 2018, a gray wolf reportedly visited Nevada County.

Knowledge of the 2-year-old female, named OR-54, crossing into northern California from Oregon sparked significant interest among residents.

Thursday night wolves were once again the topic of discussion at the Eric Rood Administrative Center as Kent Laudon, a senior environmental scientist specialist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, provided an informational session on the well-traveled animal.

During the discussion, Laudon explained how his department tracks, records and reports on wolves in the northwestern United States.

“We’re very far from the source population,” said Laudon, referring to Nevada County.

The specialist explained the basics of wolves: they travel long distances, maintaining home ranges up to 200 miles; live in family units, referred to as packs, which typically average six to seven wolves; and they live up to age 14 and typically can breed until the end of life.

Laudon noted that the livestock loss of wolves is not much of an issue, but losses of particular wolves can be. Other wolf-related problems include “unverified losses,” weight loss and lower cattle pregnancy rates.

The wolf specialist said he and others always investigate livestock deaths, and that in California livestock producers do not get compensated for any losses endured because of wolves.

In the summer of 2018 and through 2019, Laudon was tracking OR-54 as she moved into parts of Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou and Tehama counties.

The wolf has now logged over 7,646 miles in two years.

“The one thing about wolves is they don’t do a good job of keeping themselves a secret,” he said.

To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey, email or call 530-477-4219.

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