HOWL Colorado

DNR sets ‘conservative’ quotas for Wisconsin’s first wolf hunt

The Department of Natural Resources has set a preliminary harvest quota of 142 to 233 wolves for the hunting and trapping season planned to begin in October.The agency released the figures Wednesday in advance of four meetings planned to collect public input on what would be Wisconsin’s first regulated wolf harvest.

“We’re trying to be somewhat conservative this first year,” said Bill Vander Zouwen, DNR wildlife manager. “Our goal is to reduce wolf numbers but also retain a viable population.”

The agency’s plan calls for seven wolf harvest zones, each with a quota. Zones that have experienced more problems with wolf depredations will have higher quotas, Vander Zouwen said.

The plan would also place added hunting and trapping pressure outside of the core wolf range, a tactic designed to allow higher wolf numbers in the best wolf habitat as well as curb wolves from moving into new areas.

Hunters and trappers would be required to register wolves by telephone or Internet within 24 hours of the kill. The state would issue an emergency closure in any zone that reached its quota.

Wisconsin had an estimated population of 815 to 880 wolves in late winter, according to the DNR. The recovery goal for the state was 350 wolves outside American Indian reservations…

Read the entire article on jsonline.com: DNR sets ‘conservative’ quotas for Wisconsin’s first wolf hunt

Editor note: Does 25 percent of the entire state’s population seem ‘conservative’ to you? And it is interesting to note that once again, the conversation revolves around the “recovery goal” as some ideal maximum recommended number.

Don’t they get it? It’s a MINIMUM requirement to determine that a population is recovered to the point that it isn’t threatened with imminent extinction. A healthy wolf population must support genetic diversity, and also represent a number which can guarantee a strong population dozens of generations in to the future.

Therefore, 350 is not the magic number for Wisconsin much like 10 breeding pairs is not the magic number for Idaho or Montana.

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