Starting today, the state Department of Natural Resources now has greater authority to manage Wisconsin’s grey wolf population.
Wisconsin’s grey wolves are no longer considered a federally endangered species, and DNR mammal ecologist Adrian Wydeven says that will allow the state to have more control. While the state is still very concerned about the conservation of wolves, he says the change gives them more authority to balance those issues with controlling problem animals.
The DNR is ready to issue permits to landowners who have been dealing with wolf attacks. Wydeven several have already been notified that they can apply to remove wolves that have been attacking or threatening livestock and pets, or if a landowner lives near an area where attacks have occurred.
The state is also establishing control areas where attacks have frequently occurred which will also allow landowners to apply for permits.
Wydeven believes the tools they have in place right now will be adequate for taking over management of the wolf population, especially considering the DNR has had no real authority in years past.
The most recent DNR estimates put the state’s wolf population at about 800 animals.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:10)