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Wolves per sq mile

1/9/22 @ 6:09 PM
USER SINCE 12/23/21

i just read an article how combined Idaho and Wyoming have an estimated wolf population of 1,900 animals. Idaho is 83,569 sq miles Wyoming is 97,914 sq miles for a total of 181,483 sq miles.   Wisconsin has a population of aprox 1,000 wolves and is 65,498 square miles. But yet some how they are endangered here?  Court fights go on and on what baloney 


TODAY @ 5:17 PM
USER SINCE 3/17/09

Far north,

 This is info that was given to me from former wolf management guy, Dave McFarland?? I will use round numbers easier for me.

If we have 200 packs, only the alpha male and female breed, that’s 200 litters. Only 2 pups on average live for a year+.  So that’s 400 new wolves a year. Now some will die from various reasons.
  But in my opinion if we don’t kill 300 + a year we are only slowing the growth.

TODAY @ 12:36 PM
Fin Bender
Fin Bender
USER SINCE 9/16/11

JamesD - I think I'm familiar with what you saw, the GPS locations of wolf packs turned into a map by the Voyagers Wolf Project. It's the only one I know of, and was somewhat recently released. Except it wasn't 3 packs it was 7. Also, there were 3 additional packs in that area that weren't collared (for a total of ten packs in the study). Also, it wasn't over a huge area as you described. I'll provide a link to that below so you can see it again, maybe refresh your memory.

Also of note: Wisconsin does not count, estimate, or include lone and dispersing wolves in any way. Those have no consideration at all in the WI DNR's population modeling. If a wolf isn't a pack member it doesn't exist in the eyes of the DNR. This was discussed at length in one of the recent WI DNR Wolf Management Plan Committee meetings (which are all available to watch online if you have an interest). 


TODAY @ 10:54 AM
USER SINCE 12/7/13

Isn’t it a pretty solid fact that at least 40% of the yearly population of wolves need to be harvested every year before the population will decrease? If that’s true we are at not even scratching the surface of lowering the Wisconsin wolf population .

1/17/22 @ 9:08 AM

Two posts for Noknot, who's got something of a bologna sammy going on here. There was a wolf pack study in the arrowhead of Minn. They collared some wolves to track their movements and found three packs ranging over a huge area. There was little, to no overlap between the packs but the areas they covered ranged all over, one group looping up into Canada. Found the satellite maps in a local magazine in Grand Marais MN. where we fish each summer. Enough factoids about canines, back to emotional rants.

1/15/22 @ 8:03 AM

What also skews the number in regards in the process is the people doing the data road,howling counts is most of those people are wolf protectionist,  numbers will lean towards lower numbers so will look like fewer wolves.

1/14/22 @ 8:31 AM

So, I stand corrected.  DNR is in the process of validity-testing a recently developed formula to estimate the population.

"WDNR scientists used a recently developed occupancy modelling approach to estimate total wolf abundance from 2019 – 2020 track survey data. The approach divided the surveyed area into a hexagonal grid of sample units, and then estimated abundance as ?? = ∑ ???????? ?? ?? ??¯/h¯, where ???? was the probability of occupancy in sample unit i, ???? was the area of sample unit i, h¯ was the mean home range size during the sampling period, ??¯was the mean pack size, and K was the total number of sample units. The approach does not rely on subjective pack assignments and accounts for the fact that wolves may be present, but undetected, in a sample unit. The final 4 estimate also accounts for the uncertainty in all model parameters, including mean home range size and pack size. Landscape covariates (forest, agriculture/developed land, and road density) were used as predictors for ???? , and detection probability was a function of survey effort. The resulting posterior mode (the most likely value) for total wolf abundance for the 2019 – 2020 overwintering period was 1195 wolves, and the credible interval with the highest probability density was 957 – 1573, which includes the statewide minimum count described previously."

Getting back to Noknot's original comment, it really is a simple reason why "people" consider them endangered in Wisconsin and not Idaho or Wyoming. 

Idaho and Wyoming are NOT full of people who want to do away with all hunting.

1/14/22 @ 7:08 AM
USER SINCE 4/17/07

Alaska has an estimated wolf population of 7,000 - 11,000 wolves and a size of 663,207 square miles. This is a density of 66 sq miles per wolf. 

Wisconsin has an estimated wolf population of 1,000 (debatable) and a size of 65,500 sq miles. This is a density of 65 sq miles per wolf. 

These densities are very similar, however I'd say 99% of Alaska is suitable wolf habitat. I'd argue less than 20% of Wisconsin is suitable wolf habitat. After this is taken into account, the densities become very skewed (WI having a 5x higher density for the suitable habitat).

Alaska harvests roughly 1,200 wolves per year to MAINTAIN their population.... just shows how far Wisconsin is behind. 

1/14/22 @ 7:07 AM
USER SINCE 11/29/01

In Price and Sawyer county I see as much wolf sign as bear sign and more wolf sign than bobcat sign. Tells me there are more wolves than they say. I do understand wolves more a lot more and faster than bear , but there is a lot of wolf sign.

1/13/22 @ 11:29 AM

One thing to keep in mind (that EVERYONE seems to quickly forget and media sources LOVE to ignore) is that the number of wolves the DNR says live in Wisconsin is a MINIMUM VERIFIED COUNT.

It is not an estimate.

Wolf spotters are designated to drive around specified areas and count tracks on roads, and count howling wolves.  Occasionally they get to see and count actual wolves.  This is problematic in that not all wolves in the state will have crossed a dirt road just before a spotter goes by, and not all wolves will howl when the spotter is out listening.

The actual number of wolves in Wisconsin is therefore considerably greater than the number the DNR reports.

1/13/22 @ 8:44 AM

Birdyboy, you have a valid concern about the wolf population number. Just look at the most recent wolf season numbers. From memory there was an estimate of 1,200 wolves in Wisconsin and the harvest number was 218. That is just over 18% of the population harvested in less than three days by a relatively small number of hunters. It would be difficult to believe that so few hunters could harvest that significant % of the population in such a short time frame. Also consider that the season was put together on short notice and some tag holders didn’t even get an opportunity since the season ended so quick. 

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