Wolf Count Up 16 Percent


The Department of Natural Resources reported that 2015-16 monitoring efforts detected an overwinter minimum wolf count of 866 to 897 and 222 packs, representing a 16 percent increase from last year’s minimum wolf count of 746 to 771.

The information was collected with the assistance of more than 100 volunteer trackers, who contributed almost half of the record 17,759 survey miles in 2015-16.

“Volunteer trackers are a critical component of Wisconsin’s wolf monitoring program, and department staff relies upon their efforts to ensure we have high quality data,” said David MacFarland, DNR large carnivore specialist.

The 2015-16 minimum count represents the second year of growth and a record high for Wisconsin. Wolf count efforts are conducted in winter when the population reaches its annual low point. Wolf pups born in spring cause population increases, followed by reductions resulting from pup and adult mortalities.

To learn more about taking part in this monitoring program, visit, search keyword “volunteer” and select “wolves and other mammals.”

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