SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Two state wolf packs produced pups this year, according to a new report by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The Lassen pack in western Lassen and northern Plumas counties has produced litters since 2017, including six pups in 2021.
The Whaleback pack in eastern Siskiyou County consists of a male wolf OR-85 and an uncollared female. They produced at least six pups this year.
A third wolf pack was confirmed in May, but it’s not known if they have bred.
“We’re over the moon knowing that for the first time in more than 100 years, California has at least two wolf packs with pups,” said Amaroq Weiss, senior West Coast wolf advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity.
In January, federal protections were stripped from wolves across nearly the entire lower 48 states. Wolves are protected in California under the state’s endangered species act, the center says.
Ranchers oppose wolf protections, saying the animals prey on and stress out their livestock.