Updated 5:28 pm, Thursday, November 3, 2016
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife this week confirmed the presence of a male and a female wolf in the county, both believed to have been living there since as early as 2015. The male came from a pack in Oregon that authorities have been tracking, while the female’s origin is unknown.
Though there is no evidence the couple have had cubs, officials said, they are being watched closely. Gray wolves only began returning to California in 2011 after being eliminated more than a century ago.
Their comeback has been lauded by environmentalists and researchers who reintroduced the Canis lupus species into the Rocky Mountains two decades ago. But livestock owners and others in rural communities harbor concerns about the predator’s growth in the wild.
“It is exciting that we have a species coming back from the brink, but we also need to recognize that California today in 2016 is very different than it was 100 years ago,” said Karen Kovacs, a state fish and wildlife program manager who studies wolves.