wolf count

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A prominent Midwest wolf biologist thinks a possible delisting of wolves from the Endangered Species Act will not drive the population to dangerous levels.

L. David Mech is a Senior Scientist with the Biological Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota. He has studied wolves and their prey since 1958.

Natalie Jablonski

Earlier this week, we brought you a story about the state’s volunteer carnivore tracking program.  Every winter, over a hundred people volunteer to help track wolves for the Wisconsin DNR.

Today we’ll hear more from Jim Halfpenny. He says he can track anything, even a fish, but he specializes in tracking rare mammals...like wolves or grizzly bears, depending on location.  Halfpenny lives in Montana, but every winter he visits Wisconsin to teach a workshop on animal tracking and wolf ecology.    

WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski tagged along on a walk in the snowy woods.  

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?"