The DNR relies on citizen monitors to help gather data for research. Wisconsin's wolf monitoring program relies upon volunteers from around the state to track the animals each winter, and those interested in volunteering are encouraged to sign up for one of a number of clinics offered statewide.
DNR wildlife biologist Nate Libal in Rhinelander says the volunteer carnivore tracking program has been around since 1995. He says they've been monitoring wolves since 1979....
"....the population was quite small, so the DNR was able to keep track of that. But by the mid-1990's the population was increasing and expanding its range to the point where we didn't have the manpower to continue to track it on our own. That's how the volunteer carnivore tracking program was born...."
Libal outlines the classes...
".....every year we hold a number of tracking workshops which trains people in how to track not just wolves but other carnivores and how to record that data so we can use it in our population estimate...."
Last year, more than 17,000 miles of land were tracked by volunteers.
Classes will be held at the Rhinelander DNR office on November 12th and 13th, and are free of charge, but require pre-registration. Libal says you can call him to register at (715) 401-1764. For a list of additional information, go to the DNR website and search for "training courses".