MADISON – Wisconsin’s wolf monitoring program relies upon volunteers from around the state who help track animals each winter, and people interested in playing a key role in wildlife management are encouraged to sign up for one of a number of clinics offered statewide.
Tracking-focused classes focus on medium to large size carnivores that inhabit Wisconsin, as well as a few other common mammals. Ecology-focused classes cover the history of wolves in Wisconsin, their biology and ecology, how DNR monitors the population, and state management and research. The two classes together provide the required training and prepare participants to conduct formal track surveys as a volunteer tracker.
Department of Natural Resources biologists and volunteers have partnered to provide informative classes focused on aspects of wolf ecology, population biology and field study techniques. Winter tracking is a great way to experience the outdoors in winter and make a contribution to natural resource management. For a list of courses offered, search the DNR website for volunteer carnivore tracking page and select the “training courses” option on the right side of the page.
“DNR staff and volunteers tracked over 17,000 miles last winter searching for wolf, coyote, bobcat, and other medium to large size carnivore tracks in Wisconsin,” said DNR large carnivore specialist David MacFarland. “It’s a great way to get out and enjoy Wisconsin in the winter while helping the department monitor some of the state’s most interesting wildlife.”