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Wisconsin wolf survey method similar to that in Minnesota

Wisconsin’s method of estimating its wolf population is similar to Minnesota’s. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources uses a combination of aerial surveys and ground sightings of wolves and wolf tracks to estimate the population.

As of winter 2012, the state had an estimated wolf population of 815 to 880, said Adrian Wydeven, mammalian ecologist for the DNR.

The state has nearly 40 wolves radio-collared. DNR officials make weekly flights throughout the year to locate these wolves by radio-telemetry. During the winter, when snow is on the ground, observers watch to see how many other wolves are with the radio-collared wolves.

In addition, DNR employees on the ground in winter keep track of wolf sightings and wolf tracks in assigned blocks of land. The DNR also relies on reports from the public and from about 140 trained volunteers who monitor wolf and wolf track sightings, Wydeven said…

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