Wolf Population Growing

Wisconsin's gray wolf population is looking good. State wildlife officials have released estimates from winter wolf population surveys showing between 373 and 410 wolves in Wisconsin.

Officials say those numbers reinforce a recent decision by the Natural Resources Board to remove wolves from the threatened species list.

The gray wolf already had been taken off the endangered species list, allowing government workers to kill wolves rather than just trap them and move them after they cause problems for livestock and domestic animals.

Taking away the threatened status under state law would give the DNR full authority over managing the species. The wolf remains a threatened species under federal law.

DNR officials expect the federal government also will downgrade the wolf's status. The estimate for the 2003 to 2004 winter wolf population was an eleven percent increase from the previous winter.