Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
A stable population estimated at as many as l,750 gray wolves currently exists in Minnesota. Threats include human persecution, habitat destruction and modification, road construction, and possibly diseases and prey base declines.
At present, wolf experts believe there is enough suitable habitat in Minnesota to permit recovery. Additionally, Federal and State agencies are working to revise practices for roadside revegetation in white-tailed deer habitat. Converting to warm-season, native prairie plants should reduce the number of deer attracted to roadsides for forage and thus reduce the number of wolves killed while pursuing deer across roads. A formal section 7 consultation with the National Park Service on a wilderness recommendation for Voyageurs National Park resulted in a no-jeopardy biological opinion.
Maintaining large tracts of habitat with low human density and adequate wild prey will be needed for the species to recover. Major actions include monitoring wolf populations, habitat conditions, and prey base; enforcing protective laws; minimizing predation on domestic animals; and educating the public.
Forest Service: In monitoring the gray wolf population, the Forest Service is developing information about the species' survival, mortality, productivity, and prey. The agency is also promoting public education.
National Park Service: This Federal agency is working to manage large tracts of habitat, protect existing populations with the goal of restoring at least 100 wolves to Wisconsin and Michigan (outside Isle Royale), and create a coordination committee of State and Federal representatives to implement the Eastern Timber Wolf Recovery Plan.
Department of Agriculture, Animal Damage Control: This agency is responsible for monitoring diseases and parasites in wolves and minimizing domestic livestock losses from predation.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: With the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, this agency is undertaking a range of activities including, maintaining prey populations by habitat management, managing the harvest of prey species to ensure a surplus for the gray wolf, providing concerted law enforcement, and generating public support for reestablishing the wolf.
Original plan approved 6/5/78; revised 1/31/92.