Wisconsin DNR biologists are asking for volunteer carnivore trackers to provide informative classes focused mainly on wolf behavior and other field study techniques.
MADISON – Wisconsin’s wolf monitoring program relies upon volunteers from around the state who help track animals each winter, and people interested in playing a key role in wildlife management are encouraged to sign up for one of a number of classes offered statewide.
Carnivores – namely wolves – are quite secretive and tend to live within very large home ranges, making them difficult to keep track of by direct observation, the DNR said. However, by observing the quantity and location of their tracks, we can still estimate the abundance and distribution, they added.
Carnivore tracking classes focus on learning to identify the tracks of medium- to large-size carnivores that inhabit Wisconsin, as well as a few other common mammals. Wolf ecology and management classes cover the history of wolves in Wisconsin, their biology and ecology, how DNR monitors the population, and state management and research. Completion of both classes is required to participate in the wolf monitoring program as a volunteer carnivore tracker.
“DNR staff and volunteer carnivore trackers tracked over 14,000 miles last winter searching for wolf, coyote, bobcat, and other medium to large size carnivore tracks in Wisconsin,” said DNR assistant carnivore biologist Jane Wiedenhoeft in a news release on October, 5. “It’s a great way to get out and enjoy Wisconsin in the winter while helping the department monitor some of the state’s most interesting wildlife.”
For a list of courses, click here.