Rewards topped $43,000 this week for information on poisoning of the Catherine wolf pack in Oregon earlier this year.
Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife troopers discovered five wolves, which comprised all the Catherine pack, deceased in a single location in Eastern Oregon in Feb. 2021. Troopers, responding to a call from state wildlife biologists that they had received a mortality signal from a collared wolf in the area, found carcasses of three male and two female wolves southeast of Mount Harris, within Union County.
Toxicology reports from the wolves, revealed they had been poisoned. Over the next several months, OSP Troopers and biologists located an additional three wolves, two magpies and a skunk, also poisoned.
Marc Cooke, president of the non-profit advocate group Wolves of the Rockies, rallied supporters to contribute to a reward.
“Poisoning is a horrific way to die and shows a blatant disregard of respect that we should have for our wolves and all wildlife,” he said.
Wildlife advocates closer to the scene agree.
“We are furious and appalled,” said Sristi Kamal, senior northwest representative for Defenders of Wildlife, “Such a targeted attack against these incredible creatures is unacceptable and we hope our reward will help bring the criminals who did this to justice.”
Oregon anti-poaching advocates sponsor reward programs through the Turn In Poachers (TIP) Line, which is a collaboration among state police, state wildlife officials, hunting organizations and conservation groups.
TIP Line: 800-452-7888 or *OSP (*677) from mobile
In 2019, state legislators created the Stop Poaching campaign, to bring awareness of Oregon’s poaching problem, and educate members of the public on how to report poaching.
“Poachers steal natural resources that belong to all of us,” said campaign coordinator Yvonne Shaw.
The reward funds are being offered by Wolves of the Rockies, Montana Trap Free, The 06 Legacy Project, Center for Biological Diversity, Cascadia Wildlands, Defenders of Wildlife, The Humane Society of the United States, Northeast Oregon Ecosystems, Oregon Wild, Predator Defense and WildEarth Guardians.
Members of the public who wish to donate to the reward fund may do so by clicking here.
If state officials are unable to close this case, donations will revert to the Oregon Wildlife Coalition TIP fund for future rewards for information on people who destroy fish, wildlife, or their habitat.
The Stop Poaching Campaign educates the public on how to recognize and report poaching. This campaign is a collaboration among hunters, conservationists, land owners and recreationists. The goal is to increase reporting of wildlife crimes through the TIP Line, increase detection by increasing the number of OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers and increase prosecution. Oregon Hunters Association and Oregon Wildlife Coalition manage the TIP funds. This campaign helps to protect and enhance Oregon’s fish and wildlife and their habitat for the enjoyment of present and future generations. Contact campaign coordinator Yvonne Shaw for more information. [email protected]