Wisconsin’s Grey Wolf Lost 30% Of Their Population In One Year

It’s always a reason to celebrate when we hear that an animal has been taken off the endangered species list.

That was the case with the grey wolf, which was removed in 2020. Unfortunately, that also led to a drop in the population, which partly included issues associated with illegal hunting.

According to a report in PeerJ, 218 wolves were slaughtered by hunters who had a license to do so. Approximately 100 other wolves died in various ways. It is felt that most of them died from “cryptic poaching” which keeps the killings from being identified.

Photo: flickr/USFWS Midwest Region

In Wisconsin, there are between 695 and 751 wolves at this time. Last year, there were 1,034. The count took place shortly after the public hunting ended in February when it was found that more than the 119 wolves in the quota were killed.

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That number was set to help the population maintain its levels, but the additional wolves were killed. While 81 wolf deaths were granted to the state’s Ojibwe Tribes, they found the tribe didn’t actually make a hunt.

Photo: PeerJ

With this new information, hunting that will take place later this year can be considered more carefully.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will hopefully make the appropriate adjustments.

Photo: flickr/Gunnar Ries

As it turns out, this isn’t an unusual thing to happen. It has been found that, in the past, poachers were more likely to kill wolves when the policies are relaxed, as they may view the animals will having less value.

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