The available historic information on wolves in California suggests that while they were widely distributed, they were not abundant. DFG has been compiling historic records, life history information, reviewing studies on wolf populations in other western states, enhancing communication with other agencies and training biologists on field techniques specific to wolves. This effort is to ensure that DFG has all necessary information available when needed, it is not a wolf management plan and DFG does not intend to reintroduce wolves into California

Wolf_rangeThere are more than 1,600 wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains following a federal reintroduction effort which occurred in the mid-1990s. In 1999 a single wolf crossed into Oregon from Idaho, after nearly a 60-year absence in that state. There are now at least 23 wolves in Oregon in four reproducing packs. It has taken an additional 12 years for the first wolf to now approach the California border.

This particular animal is exhibiting normal dispersal behavior for a young male and there is no way to predict whether he will enter California, stay in Oregon, or travel east into Nevada. Eventually, DFG expects that wolves will reach California. Whether this will lead to the establishment of packs or simply transient individual animals is unknown.  

Gray wolf recovery in other western states has been controversial, particularly regarding impacts on prey populations, livestock depredation and human safety. There have been instances where gray wolf predation has contributed to declines in deer and elk populations, however, in most cases, predation has had little effect. Some gray wolves have killed livestock - mostly cattle and sheep - while others rely entirely on wild prey. In other western states the impact of depredation on livestock has been very small, certainly less than predation by coyotes and mountain lions, although the effect on an individual livestock producer can be important, particularly when sheep are killed.  

Concerns about human safety are largely based on folklore and unsubstantiated in North America. In recent years there was one human mortality in Canada caused either by wolves or bears and one confirmed human mortality in Alaska by wolves. Based on experience from states where substantial wolf populations now exist, wolves pose little risk to humans

Environmental News

April 22, 2022

Connect the Bay: Luther Burbank Home & Gardens

At Luther Burbank Home & Gardens, garden curator Rachel Spaeth wrangles dedicated student and community volunteers to keep this historic landmark an ongoing center of learning and beauty.
April 08, 2022

Raptor Fest

Master Falconer Kenny Elvin supports a Peregrine Falcon in his gloved hand when he tells us, "Falconry is the art of hunting with raptors."
February 04, 2022

Identifying a Death Cap Mushroom Could Save Your Life

The fungal network in California has been infiltrated by an invasive and fatal species of fungi––the death cap. Learn more here about the key characteristics of the Amanita phalloides mushroom and how to avoid potential poisonings while hunting for mushrooms in Northern California.
February 04, 2022

Hunting for Wintertime Fungi in Sonoma County

When winter rains fall, life that was dormant underground begins to make its appearance. Mushrooms pop up all over our region – from the forest floor to your own backyard! Learn more here about what to look for when hunting for mushrooms.
February 01, 2022

Winter Bird Observing with Birder Alex Cho

While winter may seem hush and dormant, birds fill the season with sounds and activity as many different species visit the Bay Area during their winter migrations to warmer locations. Learn more about what makes our region special for migratory and native birds during winter from a young and avid…
Dec 14, 2021

Water Conservation - Groundwater

While not visible, underground aquifers hold vast amounts of water. However, during periods of drought groundwater storage is at risk of overuse.…
Dec 08, 2021

Tidal Marsh Soil Elevation

In the tidal marshes at San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge, research ecologist Karen Thorne, PhD and biologist Chase Freeman, from the USGS…
Nov 03, 2021

Carbon Farming and Ranching

Loren Poncia discovered the powers of carbon sequestration after partnering with the Marin Carbon Project a decade ago. After learning from the…
Nov 03, 2021

The Soil Food Web

Dr. Sajeemas "Mint" Pasakdee is a University of California Cooperative Extension master gardener. Her passion is studying the amazing microscopic…
Nov 03, 2021

Compost and Carbon Sequestration

Kevin Lunny founded West Marin Compost after realizing the local need to recycle organic materials from the area into nutrient-rich and biologically…
Nov 01, 2021

Creating Vermicompost Through Earthworms

Jack Chambers co-founded the Sonoma Valley Worm Farm a quarter of a century ago after a surprising discovery in his home garden's compost bin. The…
Oct 11, 2021

San Jose Airport Pollutants Survey

Neighbors who live near San Jose's Reid-Hillview Airport have been living with noise and air pollution for many years. Now a new study commissioned…
Oct 01, 2021

Agricultural Workers and Poor Air Quality

Late summer is grape harvest season in Sonoma County, an extremely important time for Sonoma County’s billion dollar wine industry. Unfortunately,…
Sep 28, 2021

Growing Food During a Drought

Front Porch Farm in Healdsburg, CA is located right next to the Russian River, and during this drought period, their water was shut off to maintain…
Sep 27, 2021

South Bay Water Savings

Like the rest of the Bay Area, Santa Clara County is facing a serious lack of water this year. Valley Water is the agency tasked with providing this…

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