By WAOW Television Sarah McGrew
The Wisconsin DNR believes the wolf population has reached a stabilized point. In 2018, there were over 900 wolves counted across the Badger State.
Wolves were placed on the endanger species list in the 1970s, and the Wisconsin DNR has been closely monitored the local population since 1979.
“The recovery happened naturally. Wolves were never brought in and released, at least not in Wisconsin or the Great Lakes region. They came back on their own,” said DNR Large Carnivore Specialist Randy Johnson.
According to Johnson, the wolf population number has been growing steadily since the 70’s. The only drop happened around 2012.
“In 2012 when they were taken off the endangered species list… the number dropped to 660 from a little over 800,” Johnson said.
After a few harvest seasons, wolves made their way back to the endangered species list.
Now with the number over 900 as of 2018, Johnson said the wolf population is quite healthy in Wisconsin.
So could they be taken off the endangered species list again?
“Wolves are certainly beneficial on the landscape, and the DNR is committed to keeping them on the landscape. But, at the same time, we need to manage some of those negative aspects when it comes to crop losses or those types of things,” Johnson said. “So having full management authority in the state’s hands is really key.”