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DNR seeks volunteers to track wolves

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources seeks volunteers for its wolf tracking program. Photo by Jim Brandenburg

Wisconsin's wolf monitoring program relies upon volunteers from around the state to help track animals each winter. Individuals who are interested in playing a key role in wildlife management are encouraged to sign up for one of several classes offered statewide.

Department of Natural Resources biologists and volunteers have partnered to provide informative classes focused on aspects of wolf ecology, population biology and field study techniques. Tracking is a way to experience the outdoors and contribute to natural resource management.

Carnivore tracking classes focus on learning to identify the tracks of medium to large-sized carnivores in Wisconsin, as well as a few other common mammals. Wolf ecology and management classes cover the history of wolves in Wisconsin, wolf biology and ecology, how DNR staff monitor the population, and state management and research.

Completion of both classes is required to participate in the wolf monitoring program as a volunteer carnivore tracker.

"DNR staff and volunteers tracked over 16,000 miles last winter searching for wolf, coyote, bobcat, and other medium to large size carnivore tracks in Wisconsin," DNR wolf biologist Nathan Kluge said. "It's a great way to get out and enjoy Wisconsin in the winter while helping the department monitor some of the state's most interesting wildlife."

For a list of courses offered, visit dnr.wi.gov/topic/wildlifehabitat/training.html.