Volunteers needed to help monitor Wisconsin wolves and other carnivores
People interested in volunteering to locate wolves and other medium to large size carnivores this winter can learn how to track during a series of upcoming training sessions. Wisconsin DNR started a Volunteer Carnivore Tracking program in 1995 to help monitor the state’s wolf population, as well as look for signs of other medium to large size carnivores.
Last winter, 150 volunteers conducted nearly 8,000 miles of snow track surveys in search of wolves and other carnivores. Data they gathered was compiled with other monitoring data to aid Department of Natural Resources biologists in evaluating wolf populations. Wisconsin DNR is again asking volunteers to participate in monitoring the state’s wolves and other carnivores this winter.
Volunteer trackers are asked to take a track training class and a wolf ecology class. When they take the track training class they will be given the opportunity to sign up for a survey block in northern or central Wisconsin, and are asked to conduct three or more surveys in their assigned block over the winter. Most surveys are done by slowly driving snow covered back roads in search of tracks, but surveys can also be done on snowshoe, cross country skis, or snowmobile. Many trackers work in pairs or groups to complete surveys.
Carnivore Track Training sessions in this area are scheduled for Dec. 14 and 15 at Treehaven near Tomahawk. Training at Treehaven in Tomahawk will be by renowned tracker, Dr. James Halfpenny. Cost of that workshop will be $185 to $245, depending on whether you choose the lodging option. Meals are included.
A Wolf Ecology classes scheduled for Jan. 18 and 19, and Feb. 1 and 2 at Treehaven, and Feb. 15 and 16 at Trees for Tomorrow in Eagle River. The two-day trainings vary in price and offer different meal and lodging options.
Details about the Volunteer Carnivore Tracking program and the list of training courses (with details on locations and contact information) are available by searching the DNR website for “volunteer carnivore tracking.” Snow track surveys continue to be a critical component in the state’s wolf monitoring program, and provide additional information on other forest carnivore populations.
For more information, call Jane Wiedenhoeft at 715-762-1362 or Dave MacFarland 715-365-8917.