The California Department of Fish and Wildlife distributed photographic evidence today of five gray wolf pups and two adults in northern California and is calling them The Shasta Pack.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife distributed photographic evidence today of five gray wolf pups and two adults in northern California and is calling them The Shasta Pack.

CDFW reported that the image was captured by a trail camera deployed near the cameras that recorded a lone canid in May and July.

The initial images were captured at two different Siskiyou locations, according to a previous CDFW news release.

Those images prompted CDFW to deploy more cameras, “one of which took multiple photos showing five pups, which appear to be a few months old and others showing individual adults,” according to CDFW’s Aug. 20 release. “Because of the proximity to the original camera locations, it is likely the adult previously photographed in May and July is associated with the group of pups.”

“This news is exciting for California,” CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham states in the release. “We knew wolves would eventually return home to the state and it appears now is the time.”

Wild wolves historically inhabited California, but were extirpated. Aside from these wolves and the wolf known as OR7, which entered California in December 2011, the last confirmed wolf in the state was here in 1924, according to CDFW.

OR7 has not been in California for more than a year and is currently the breeding male of the Rogue Pack in southern Oregon.

In June 2014, the California Fish and Game Commission voted to list gray wolves as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act. The gray wolf is also listed as endangered in California, under the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Gray wolves that enter California are therefore protected by the ESA, making it illegal to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture or collect wolves, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct in California.

CDFW reports that it is completing a Draft Wolf Management Plan and will release it soon.

CDFW says it is incorporating comments from a stakeholder advisory group and considering revisions due to implications of the Shasta Pack before releasing the draft plan to the general public.

Public meetings will be scheduled to receive public comment on the draft plan.

In addition to the trail cameras, CDFW says it relies on help from the public to glean information about wolves in California. The public can report wolf sightings on CDFW gray wolf website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Mammals/Gray-Wolf/Sighting-Report.

Though wolves rarely pose a direct threat to human safety, CDFW recommends that people never approach, feed or otherwise disturb a wolf. For more information about staying safe in wolf-occupied areas, including what people should do if they encounter a wolf, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Mammals/Gray-Wolf/FAQ.