Survey work over the winter by the DNR shows the wolf population has grown.
Monitoring efforts over the winter found a count of 925-956 wolves in 232 packs, a 6.8 percent increase from the previous winter.
DNR large carnivore specialist David MacFarland in Rhinelander says the wolf population fluctuates...
".....we conduct this count from December through April. It's really at the population low point for the year. It's the standard time to monitor wolves. When the pups are born in late April that population comes close to doubling. So right now there's many more wolves on the landscape because of the pups that were born. That population will decline over time...."
MacFarland says the wolf population trends are returning to traditional patterns...
"...population growth rate has dropped from prior years, but that was to be expected. We've had stabilization of pack size back to our long term average following three years of state management. Now the rate of population growth has returned back to what it was prior to 2012. During 2003-2013 we averaged 9 percent growth. The rate this year is just under 7 percent which is back in line with those long term averages....."
Wolves are listed un the federal Endangered Species Act with management by federal officials. The state's authority to control the population was removed in 2012 following a federal judge's ruling.