Magazine article E Magazine

Wolves Fight the Odds in Wisconsin

Magazine article E Magazine

Wolves Fight the Odds in Wisconsin

Article excerpt

Adrian Wydeven spreads his feet, tips his head back, and howls long and low into the summer night. His mimicry is perfect - plaintive, mournful, stirring. As the last notes fade into the Wisconsin woods, he waits, listening for a reply from the wolves he knows are near. As a timber wolf biologist for Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Wydeven and his colleagues trap, radio collar and monitor wolves in remote areas of northwestern Wisconsin. During the day, they check traps and track animals by telemetry; at night, they howl.

As recently as 1960, the timber wolf was, by all accounts, gone from Wisconsin - the victim of shrinking habitat and relentless shooting and trapping. By 1975, however, the state had "listed" it as an endangered species, and a slow recovery began. With help from educational programs (both by the DNR and private groups like the Timber Wolf Alliance), stiff fines for killing the animal, and an influx of wolves from neighboring Minnesota, a breeding population had established itself by the 1970s. The program has avoided much of the controversy - and legal challenges - that delayed the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park until this year.

Wisconsin now has 50 to 57 animals in 14 packs, the highest count since recovery began. "Those numbers were arrived at from 1993's winter counts and don't take into account any pup production from last summer," Wydeven says. At least eight of the state's packs had litters in 1994. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.