Volunteers needed to help monitor wolf population
People interested in volunteering to help DNR biologists locate and count timber wolves and other forest carnivores in the coming year can learn how in a series of upcoming training sessions on animal tracking and ecology.
Wisconsin wolves were removed from the Federal List of Endangered Species on Jan. 27, 2012. In addition to the state’s plan to monitor the wolf population, there is a federal requirement to monitor the wolf population for the first five years after delisting.
“The volunteer carnivore tracking program is critical for us to obtain counts of the state wolf population,” said Kurt Thiede, DNR Division Administrator of Lands. “With the start of public hunting and trapping season, these surveys will continue to be important for long-term management of wolves and other forest carnivores in Wisconsin.”
After completing training, volunteer trackers are assigned survey blocks in forest portions of northern and central Wisconsin, and are asked to conduct three or more surveys in their assigned block each winter. Data they gather can be compiled with those of other volunteers to aid DNR biologists in evaluating wolf populations.
Volunteer tracker training sessions are scheduled as follows:
• Dec. 1, Babcock, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sandhill Outdoor Skills Center, 1 mile north of Highway 173 along County Road X, $15.
• Dec. 8-9, Tomahawk, 8 a.m. Saturday – 4 p.m. Sunday, Wildlife Tracking with Dr. James Halfpenny, Treehaven UWSP Field Station on Pickerel Creek Road off County A. The weekend-long workshop with Dr. James Halfpenny will cost $185 to $245, depending on whether food and lodging are provided.
Applicants should register as soon as possible, as space is limited.
For more information about the wolf ecology and tracking training sessions and the volunteer tracking program, please visit dnr.wi.gov and search key word “wolf management.”