Featured News, Siskiyou

Two New Groups of Wolves Confirmed in Northern California

Immediate Release, May 24, 2023
Photo Credit California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Lassen Pack, 2017

Two New Groups of Wolves Confirmed in Northern California

SAN FRANCISCO— The California Department of Fish and Wildlife reported today that two new groups of wolves have been confirmed in northern California — one in Tehama County and the other in western Lassen County. If the department designates each as a pack, they would become the fifth and sixth confirmed wolf packs in the Golden State in 100 years.

“It brings me great joy to see California’s wolves continue to increase in number, aided by the strong state and federal protections here,” said Amaroq Weiss, senior wolf advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Wolves rewild the landscape and that’s good not just for the wolves but for entire ecosystems.”

In March photographs of three wolves in Tehama County were captured on a trail camera on private land. The western Lassen County group was documented on three different occasions during the first quarter of 2023. The department is surveying these areas to determine if either group had pups this year, the sex of each of the groups’ members and whether any of them are related to wolves from California’s known packs.

California has three existing families of wolves: the Lassen pack, which was confirmed in 2017 and ranges across parts of Lassen and Plumas Counties; the Whaleback pack, confirmed in late 2020 and early 2021 and ranges across eastern Siskiyou County; and the Beckwourth pack, confirmed in late spring of 2021 and whose territory is in eastern Plumas County.

Today’s report also included the sad note that a yearling Whaleback pup died after being struck by a vehicle on Highway 97 in January.

Late spring to early summer is when the department can determine if any of these wolf families has denned, signaling the potential for pups to be born. The department will be checking on the reproductive status of the three existing packs as well as that of the two newly confirmed groups.

“I’m keeping my fingers crossed that these two new groups of wolves will officially become families by having pups of their own,” said Weiss. “I’m also looking forward to the department bestowing these wolf families with pack names to reflect their presence and significance.”


The first wolf in nearly a century to make California part of his range was OR-7, a radio-collared wolf from Oregon that entered California in late 2011. OR-7 traveled across seven northeastern counties in California before returning to southwestern Oregon, where he found a mate and settled down. The original breeding male of the Lassen pack was the offspring of OR-7’s first litter and several others of OR-7’s offspring have also come to California, including the breeding female of the Whaleback pack.

California’s only other known wolf pack in modern times, the Shasta pack, was confirmed in summer 2015 but disappeared a few months later.

The gray wolf (Canis lupus) is native to California but was driven to extinction in the state by the mid-1920s. After OR-7 dispersed from Oregon into California, the Center and allies successfully petitioned the state to fully protect wolves under California’s endangered species act. Wolves are also federally protected in California under the federal Endangered Species Act. It is illegal to intentionally kill any wolves in the state.


  1. Rosie Scott

    Thank you, for planting these animals within 10 miles of highly populated areas in Cow Country. It has been awesome to watch our Government and Environmental agencies take advantage and unlawful acts to move this species and populate them in areas that will cause major difficulties for ranchers but will allow the growth of Mining and mineral industries.. Follow the money. Please read and research.. Thank you…

  2. Bill Lowery

    This isn’t the 1800s when game was plentiful these sick people didn’t even consider the available game for them to feed on. Leaving cattle and sheep producers wide open for wolf attacks. At least in Oregon producers get money for there losses and the offending wolf’s be shot after non lethal methods have been tried. Theses wolf’s are not the same wolf’s that once wondered the west. Democrats protect the apex predators the same way they protected pedophilia on Epstein Island

  3. These grey wolves were native in many peers of Calif. The bay area was one of those locations! I think this humane depopulation of wolves should extend to all areas of Calif. If these fair minded wolf lovers would take about 10 of the mature wolves and introduce them in Golden Gate park, I think nature would certainly take care of the rest!

  4. Deanna Facey

    There have been wolves near little Shasta in California.

    • Shavonne O'Connell

      Hi Deanna my name is shavonne I used to live in little Shasta. Have you seen the wolves . that is just amazing to hear that they are there. Also can you send Shawna and the kids my love

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