Most Wisconsinites support a wolf hunt in the state, but only a minority of people want to see the wolf population decrease from its current level. That's according to some of the draft findings of a recent DNR survey of how people feel about wolves.
The DNR mailed out surveys to almost 9,000 residents, about half of which were returned and analyzed.
Two seasons of wolf hunting have resulted in Wisconsin's first major decline in the grey-wolf population.
The D-N-R issued a preliminary report this week, showing a drop in wolf numbers from a low number last year of 809 to a low number this year of 658. It's the first major decrease in the Wisconsin wolf numbers since the D-N-R started tracking the species' recovery about 35 years ago. The state had 25 wolves back then.
DNR wolf ecologist Dave MacFarland talked with Ken Krall about the numbers from a census done during the winter months.
Wisconsin’s rising wolf population has sparked controversy over the years. It’s also sparked a one-of-a-kind program for keeping tabs on those wolves…a volunteer carnivore tracking program run by the DNR.
These citizen trackers are quietly helping create one of the best tracking datasets on wolves in the world.
"So the idea is, pattern on the ground, visualization in the mind, any questions on that?"
The Midwest has been hosting a lot of wildlife biologists lately. The International Wolf Symposium was held this past weekend in Duluth, Minnesota. A week earlier, the Wildlife Society held its annual conference in Milwaukee. DNR Carnivore Specialist Dave MacFarland was at both. WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski sat down with MacFarland to hear about the conference highlights.