Loss of livestock from wolves has declined in Wisconsin

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2 years 11 months ago #187 by WWH Admin
WWH Admin created the topic: Loss of livestock from wolves has declined in Wisconsin
Wolf depredations of livestock in Wisconsin have declined markedly since the state regained authority to manage gray wolves in 2012, according to a report from the Department of Natural Resources.

Since 2011, the number of calves killed by wolves in Wisconsin has declined 59% and the number of farms with wolf conflicts has dropped 28%, said Dave MacFarland, DNR large carnivore specialist, in a Wednesday presentation to the Natural Resources Board.

Through last week, only three adult or yearling cattle have been killed by wolves in the state this year and the number of wolf removal permits issued to landowners has dropped from 129 in 2012 to 47 this year.

The number of wolves lethally removed in “conflict situations” declined from 65 in 2013 to 35 so far this year.

“We see those as positive developments in our depredation control program,” MacFarland said.

The wolf was removed from protections of the federal Endangered Species Act in January 2012. Since then, Wisconsin has been able to employ lethal and non-lethal wolf depredation controls. It also has held a wolf hunting and trapping season to allow a public wolf harvest.

Most wildlife professionals see targeted controls at depredation sites as the most effective means of reducing livestock kills by wolves. General hunting and trapping seasons can reduce the wolf population but don’t necessarily address nuisance animals.

The 2014-’15 Wisconsin wolf hunting and trapping season ended Dec. 5 with 154 wolves registered, four over the statewide quota for non-tribal harvest. Three wolf management zones were over pre-established harvest quotas and three were under.

The final data by zone is: Zone 1, 36 wolves harvested out of a quota of 32; Zone 2, 29 out of 15; Zone 3, 30 out of 40; Zone 4, 5 out of 8; Zone 5, 18 out of 20; and Zone 6, 36 out of 35.

For the season, the wolf harvest was composed of 87 male and 67 female animals, MacFarland said. The DNR sold 1,129 resident and 10 non-resident wolf hunting and trapping licenses. One thousand five hundred individuals were authorized to purchase a kill permit.

Trappers took 80% of the wolves, up from 70% in 2013 and 50% in 2012, MacFarland said.

The remainder of the wolf kill was attributed to hunters with firearms (22 wolves), hunters using dogs (six) and hunters using bow and arrow (three).

Hunters were able to use dogs to hunt wolves beginning Dec. 1. Wisconsin is the only state to allow the use of dogs in wolf hunting.

The wolf kill has slightly exceeded the harvest goal in each of the three seasons. Last year hunters and trappers killed 257 wolves, six over the quota, and in the inaugural season in 2012 117 wolves were registered, one over the quota.

Following two seasons of regulated wolf hunting and trapping designed to put “downward pressure” on the wolf population, Wisconsin had at least 660 wolves in late winter 2013-’14, down from an estimated high of 834 in 2012.

The wolf population roughly doubles after pups are born in spring, then begins to decline due to various sources of mortality.

The DNR is working to update the state’s wolf management plan. The working plan was written in 1999 and called for a population goal of 350.

MacFarland said a draft of the updated plan is scheduled for release to the public in early January. The DNR is planning a public input process from Jan. 15 to Feb. 28; it likely will include seven public meetings around the state. An online “virtual” meeting also is planned.

source

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2 years 11 months ago #188 by redarrow
redarrow replied the topic: Loss of livestock from wolves has declined in Wisconsin
It appears that wolves are relearning their fear of humans. The highly regulated season is keeping the numbers of wolves from getting completely out of control. It will be interesting to see if the hunting community shows up during the public input period. I am concerned about apathy by sportsmen and that too much input will come from the Indian tribes and wolf lovers.

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2 years 11 months ago #190 by WWH Admin
WWH Admin replied the topic: Loss of livestock from wolves has declined in Wisconsin
I agree redarrow

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2 years 11 months ago #197 by aellingson
aellingson replied the topic: Loss of livestock from wolves has declined in Wisconsin
I suspect deer hunters will give their input. Many I've talked to don't think the state is taking enough wolves.

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