Minnesota’s wolf population remains about the same as in recent winters, according to results of the latest survey by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The latest survey results estimate that within Minnesota’s wolf range there were 374 wolf packs and 2,221 wolves last winter. Although this year’s specific population estimate is lower than the previous winter’s estimate of 2,423 wolves, there has been no statistically significant change in population size during the past three years, state wildlife officials said.
The population survey is conducted in mid-winter near the low point of the annual population cycle. Immediately following birth of pups each spring, the wolf population typically doubles, though many pups do not survive to the following winter.
“Results from the 2015 wolf survey demonstrate that the wolf population remains well established across northern and central Minnesota,” said Dan Stark, large carnivore specialist for the DNR.
Minnesota’s wolf population remains above the state’s minimum management goal of at least 1,600 wolves and is above the federal recovery goal of 1,251 to 1,400.