Madison, WI (NNCNOW.com) --- There is a minimum of 658–687 wolves across Wisconsin, according to Department of Natural Resources officials. Last year the count was a minimum of 809–834 wolves.
This means there has been a 19% decline from the 2013 count.
The DNR says the wolf population is still nearly double the current goal of 350 wolves, and more than six times the federal delisting goal of 100 wolves for Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
They also point out that the wolf population nearly doubles when pups are born in the spring, resulting in a higher population in October when the hunting and trapping season begins.
"We are collecting important data on which to base future management decisions and will continue to learn with each season," DNR Large Carnivore Specialist, David MacFarland, said.
Wisconsin's monitoring protocols, which are considered the most reliable method for monitoring wolf populations, include radio–telemetry, pilot observations and winter track counts.
The Wolf Advisory Committee will meet on April 29 for a discussion of population data and 2014 wolf hunting quotas. In May the finalized wolf quota recommendations will be determined.