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OR-85—a male Mexican grey wolf and his mate who goes by the name of WHA01F gave birth to a litter of pups; the largest litter that California has ever seen in over 100 years. Now, the average litter size of a wolf is around 4 to 6 pups. But this mighty couple along with the rest of the Whaleback Pack produced 8 healthy cubs this year! In 2021, the Whaleback Pack gave birth to a litter of 7 pups—hence the name—and at that time, making that litter the largest California has seen yet. But this year, the Whaleback Pack has proved us wrong. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says that the pack’s territory range is over 480 square miles! The pack’s alpha female (OR-85) was collared in 2020 by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. As explained before, the female was named WHA01F. “WHA” for “Whaleback” and 01F for her gender and marked identity—as the Mount Shasta News says.

Although the wolf population in California is low in numbers, this new generation surely has more wolves to come. There are only two more known wolf packs in the state of California; the Lassen Pack and the Beckwourth Pack. The Whaleback pack resides in the Siskiyou County area of California The Beckwourth pack and the Lassen pack together stand at about 15 wolves (25 if you include the Whaleback pack) The good news is: wolf populations will continue to increase throughout California if can we come to terms with the importance of wolves and leave them alone to thrive.

Image copyright: Wolf Conservation Center

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