Preliminary figures show wolf population unchangedWisconsin's wolf population is basically unchanged from last year, according to preliminary estimates gathered by the DNR.
By: By Glen Moberg, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
(WAUSAU) Wisconsin's wolf population is basically unchanged from last year, according to preliminary estimates gathered by the DNR. Biologists now have a new tool to bring down levels that they consider to be too high.
At the annual DNR wolf population meeting in Wausau, mammalian ecologist Adrian Wydeven listens to the reports of several dozen trackers, and then tacks yellow and purple post-it notes on a large map of the state.
"Each post-it note represents an individual pack that we've identified through track surveys or radio telemetry surveys or by observation from the general public,” he said.
As the map's northern half gets filled with the colored pieces of paper, Wydeven says it appears the wolf population is still much higher than the agency would like.
"I suspect it's going to be similar to last year, around 800 some wolves,” he said. “I think it will fall somewhere in that general area again."
Final figures won't be available for several weeks, but Wydeven says that Wisconsin's wolves continue to push south.
"Our most southern packs are in the south side of Fort McCoy, just south of the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, and I think we may have some activity in the southern part of Adams County,” he said.
And Wydeven notes that this year the DNR has a new tool to bring the population down.
"Where we perceive the population is too high, that it's causing conflicts, hunting, trapping season will be one of the tools we'll use to manage the population,” he said.
When the state's first ever wolf season takes place this fall, those yellow and purple post-it notes may determine where hunters can and can't go.