Press Release: Howling For Wolves comments on new 2014-15 MN DNR wolf population survey


August 10, 2015

CONTACT: Dr. Maureen Hackett, Howling For Wolves, 612.250.5915 or Leslie Rosedahl,, 651.353.1818

Howling For Wolves comments on new 2014-15 MN DNR wolf population survey
MN DNR releases lower population numbers, HFW very concerned about future of wolf population

(St. Paul, Minn) –  Today the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released its 2014-2015 wolf population survey estimates, reporting there are 374 wolf packs and 2,221 wolves this past winter. These results indicate an elimination of nearly 100 packs of wolves within one year, and show a decrease of 202 wolves from last year’s (2013-14) estimate of 2,423 wolves.

As reported by the Minnesota DNR and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:
Minnesota’s wolf population

Maureen Hackett, founder and president of Howling For Wolves, a Minnesota-based wolf advocacy organization, said,

  • “Minnesota is home to the only original wolf population remaining in the lower 48 states that never went extinct. Our wolves are a critical part of our ecology and a valued symbol of our state.”
  • “The DNR is mixing up ‘wolf recovery’ with ‘keeping wolves barely above the brink of extinction.’ The elimination of nearly 100 wolf packs in one year is drastic, reckless, and unacceptable for responsible wolf recovery.”
  • “Our Minnesota wolves’ downward population trend is concerning and potentially catastrophic toward the species. Federal politicians are threatening to remove the current endangered species’ protections for wolves, which is concerning due to illegal wolf killing, poaching, and state plans limited to trophy hunts.”
  • “These downward pack and population numbers reinforce the continued need for wolf protections while responsible state wolf plans are implemented that do not include reckless and politically-motivated wolf trophy hunts.”

Additionally, the Minnesota legislature passed into law in 2014 a requirement for the MN DNR to track and make publicly available all known wolf mortalities. In the first three months of 2015, 13 wolf deaths have been recorded. HFW has also learned that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service trapped and killed 15 wolves as a response to alleged conflicts with several dogs. In the past three years (of which Minnesota has conducted a state-sponsored recreational wolf hunt,) nearly 1700 wolves have been killed or found dead. (The following chart is taken from this MN DNR website on wolves.)

Annual Known Wolf Mortality The table below lists known wolf mortality for the indicated year. Totals are compiled annually after April 1 each year.


Howling For Wolves (HFW) is a wolf advocacy organization that aims to educate the public and policy-makers about wolves to foster understanding and tolerance, and to ensure their long-term survival in Minnesota. HFW seeks innovative non-lethal solutions for conflict prevention and coexistence where wolves are perceived to be a threat. We oppose the random killing of non-problem wolves for sport and the cruel methods utilized. HFW current efforts focus on the Minnesota’s gray wolves, which is the largest and only original wolf population remaining in the lower 48 states that never went extinct.

August 10, 2015