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Wolf Protection In Wisconsin Faces New Issues
Population now needs management, not further preservation
Elizabeth Wawrzyn (ewawr4444)     Print Article 
Published 2009-10-13 09:56 (KST)   
Within the past year there have been major changes in Wisconsin's Wolf Recovery Plan. Federal authorities removed the wolf from the national endangered species list on May 4, 2009.

With this removal, the state of Wisconsin is now in charge of managing the population and determining the success of the species.

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How did the wolf leave the federal list? Perhaps counter-intuitively, overcrowding.

©2008 Flickr.com User dalliedee


The Wolf Recovery Plan was created in Wisconsin as a reaction to new wolves entering into the state. In the year 1973, the Federal Government added wolves to the Federal Endangered Species Act, making it illegal to hunt and kill wolves for any reason ("Wisconsin Wolf", 2006). During this time, the existing wolf population in the neighboring state of Minnesota began to expand.

As a result of Minnesota's increased wolf population, more animals traveled into Wisconsin and the state's population went from zero to between 15 and 31 at any given time.

Activists and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) took considerable interest in the development of the wolf population, and began to institute efforts to manage and maintain its existence. Currently, Wisconsin is the home for about 537 wolves (Wydeven, Van Deelen, & Heske, 2009). The large increase in wolves in Wisconsin has resulted in a new debate in Wisconsin: how should the WDNR manage the expanded population.

At the core of this debate is the realization that as more wolves begin to inhabit the state, overcrowding forests will become of greater concern for the WDNR.

To ensure that long term survival of the wolf population is possible, the WDNR should begin to implement a system that will control overcrowding.

By carrying out wolf maintenance, both people and wolves will be capable of living amongst one another.

Through making minor changes to allow for the control and management of wolves, the Wolf Recovery Plan will continue to be successful in preserving Wisconsin's gray wolf population.

©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Elizabeth Wawrzyn

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