Larger Wolf Population is Causing More Problems
During recent years, many farmers and other rural citizens have been complaining about wolves preying on their livestock and domestic pets. And according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the problem is only getting worse.
Wildlife experts say the state’s wolf population has grown to nearly 400 wolves, which has resulted in over 21 confirmed cases livestock killings on farms so far this year.
The DNR’s Adrian Wydeven says that there were 14 such reports in all of 2003 and eight in 2002. He was among those attending Tuesday’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hearing in Wausau on its proposal to remove the timber wolf from the endangered and threatened species lists in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan.
Removing the wolf from the protected species lists would allow some hunting and trapping of the animals to control the population, Wydeven said.
The timber wolf, also known as the gray wolf, is a native species that was wiped out in Wisconsin by the late 1950s after decades of bounty hunting. Since the animal was granted protection as an endangered species in the mid-1970s, wolves migrated into the state from Minnesota and their numbers have been growing ever since.