PRESS RELEASE: Howling For Wolves responds to today’s MN DNR wolf population estimate announcement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 24, 2018
CONTACT: Dr. Maureen Hackett, Howling For Wolves, 612.250.5915
Howling For Wolves responds to today’s MN DNR wolf population estimate announcement
(St. Paul, Minn) – Today, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released its 2017-2018 wolf population estimates, reporting approximately 465 wolf packs and 2,655 wolves from the past winter. According to these DNR statistical estimates, this represents a decrease of 43 wolf packs (where 2+ wolves are a pack) and 201 wolves from the previous year’s estimate.
Dr. Maureen Hackett, founder and president of Howling For Wolves, a Minnesota-based wolf advocacy organization, responds:
“It is time for a paradigm shift both in our method of estimating our wolf numbers and in the information that we deem important regarding our wild wolf population. We need to understand more about our wolf populations’ health, genetic diversity, and the threats to their existence. The current method of estimating wolves is not only inaccurate, it tells us very little about how our wolves are doing and their future potential to exist in their changing habitat. In fact, we know that 26 of the 54 wolves collared for last year’s population estimate have gone missing or are dead.
Today’s technologies could provide a whole host of better ways to estimate the Minnesota wolf populations. We recommend the Minnesota DNR add trail cameras, howling surveys and scat DNA analysis to their fly overs and scent stations. We need to discontinue collaring wolves as we are contributing to their deaths by allowing them to be tracked by those with nefarious intentions in addition to doing what is an outdated and primitive statistical population estimate.
We cannot compare numbers from one year to the next because the data used by the DNR is not consistent from one year to the next. The DNR’s current methods for estimating the wolf population are outdated and misguided, and include too many data inconsistencies and gaps to reliably provide any useful information on the status and health of the wolf population.
It is time to stop the counting and killing charade and learn how to let the wolf live while supporting farmers who work to prevent conflicts by reimbursing those farmers for nonlethal methods. Intact wolf packs are known to function better and cause less trouble for farmers.”
VIDEO: View Howling For Wolves’ three-minute video, Miscounting Minnesota Wolves, to understand the DNR’s outdated and potentially huge overestimation of the state’s wolf population:
MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Howling For Wolves Founder and President Dr. Maureen Hackett is available via phone for individual media interviews at the following phone number: 612.250.5915
Howling For Wolves is a Minnesota-based wolf advocacy organization that formed in 2012 to educate the public about the wild wolf to foster tolerance and to ensure the wolf’s long-term survival. Howling For Wolves opposes recreational wolf hunting and trapping and all wildlife snaring. We currently support the continuation of federal protections for the wolf by the Endangered Species Act.
September 24, 2018