After their removal from the list of endangered species, wolves will once again be legally hunted in Wisconsin.
After the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the removal of gray wolves from the federal endangered species list in October, 2020, the lower 48 states were then able to take on the responsibility of wolf management. Wisconsin wasted little time.
As the DNR put it, "The rule will be published in the Federal Register on Nov. 3 and will take effect 60 days after on January 4, 2021."
In fact, it is written in Wisconsin law books that once the delisting was made official, a Wisconsin wolf hunting season would resume, along annual trapping seasons as well.
According to research, the state's wolf population has reached its highest points in recent years, and has begun to level off indicating the possibility that they've reached all suitable wolf habitat in Wisconsin. The wolf management plan by the Wisconsin DNR will almost certainly take this into strong consideration not that the federal protections of the Endangered Species Act no longer cover gray wolves in the lower 48.
Here's more from the DNR:
The recovery of gray wolves is a triumph of the Endangered Species Act and stands as a testament to the cooperation of federal, state and tribal agencies, as well as other conservation partners working together to support wolf recovery. The most recent monitoring effort indicated a minimum of 1,034 wolves in Wisconsin, primarily across the northern third of the state and the Central Forest region.
Wolf harvest quotas will eventually be set at a later date, and the DNR says they will be determined using science-based factors and robust public and tribal partner engagement "in the development of a season plan that adequately reflects the interests of diverse stakeholders throughout Wisconsin." As the management authority, the state will look to ensure population goals in northern Wisconsin are met while working to mitigate wolf conflicts with humans, livestock, or other animals.
The move will also reinstate the Wolf Advisory Committee, "a diverse group representing government agencies, non-governmental organizations, tribal interests and conservation groups, meets to discuss issues relating to wolf management. The committee advises the Wildlife Policy Team on a variety of topics such as hunting regulations, conflict management, surveys and research priorities."
All this is to say, a wolf hunt in Wisconsin looks like a reality starting next year.
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