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State Wolf Population Numbers Below Preliminary Estimate
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 06/06/2007

There were an estimated 540 to 577 gray wolves across Wisconsin over the past winter--down slightly from the preliminary estimate of 540 to 600 wolves biologists made in April, but still as much as 16 percent higher than the winter 2005-06 estimate of 467 to 504 wolves. That's according to the finalized wolf count compiled by biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources this spring.

State DNR Ecologist Adrian Wydeven says this number represents the estimated number of yearling and adult wolves in the population prior to the birth of pups this spring.

The winter count of wolves is used to gauge the status of the wolf population and set management goals. It is compiled using aerial tracking of radio collared wolves, snow track surveys by DNR and volunteer trackers, and collections of public reports on wolf observations. The DNR has conducted these counts of wolves every year since winter 1979-1980 when there were 25 wolves in the state.

In 2007, at least 12 wolves were found on Indian reservations, and total count outside of Indian reservations was at least 528 wolves. The state management goal set in the 1999 Wisconsin Wolf Management Plan was 350 wolves outside Indian reservations, putting the current population at 178 wolves above the management goal.

Meanwhile, problem-wolves have killed livestock on nine farms in Barron, Bayfield, Douglas, Dunn, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, and Shawano counties. Trapping by U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services was conducted on eight farms, and 10 wolves were captured and euthanized at four of the farms. The DNR also issued shooting permits to eight landowners with recent wolf problems, but no wolves have yet been shot by landowners.

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