Gray Wolf


The gray wolf (Canis lupus) is a native species that was likely extirpated from California in the 1920s. Wolves are now returning to California on their own by dispersal of individuals from source populations in other states. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has not reintroduced gray wolves to the state.

The CDFW is working to monitor this recovering endangered species protected under the California Endangered Species Acts. Wolves pose little human safety risk. The public reporting of potential wolf sightings in California are investigated, and valued as a monitoring tool.

California’s Known Wolves

The CDFW closely monitors known resident wolves to conserve and manage California’s wolf population. Since Oregon wolf OR-7 entered California in late 2011, several radio collared wolves have dispersed into the state, an unknown number of uncollared wolves, and two breeding packs have formed. The Shasta Pack produced one litter, but was last detected November 2015. The Lassen Pack has produced one litter a year since 2017 and two litters in 2020.