Carnivore & Wolf Population Survey
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Carnivore & Wolf Population Survey Crex Meadows Wildlife Area Volunteers. Objectives Presenting another Carnivore Track Training and Timber Wolf Ecology Course at Crex Meadows to train more volunteers on WI Carnivore Tracks and educate them on how to correctly conduct the track surveys.

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Objectives 4934358

Carnivore & Wolf Population SurveyCrex Meadows Wildlife Area Volunteers

  • Objectives

  • Presenting another Carnivore Track Training and Timber Wolf Ecology Course at Crex Meadows to train more volunteers on WI Carnivore Tracks and educate them on how to correctly conduct the track surveys.

  • Conduct WI Carnivore Surveys with new volunteer apprentice trackers mentored by trained WDNR Trackers.

    • Sufficiently trained volunteer trackers will conduct future surveys on their own with WDNR oversight.

  • Conduct an annual Timber Wolf Howl Survey to identify pack locations and confirm each packs existence.

  • Methods

  • Between January through March track training and surveys are completed. The surveys are conducted by automobile by volunteers shortly after an inch or two of snow. The Tracking coordinator contacts the volunteer trackers via mass email alerting them of satisfactory weather conditions when they occur. The average survey is 20 miles in length within each survey block, and all carnivore tracks are counted while wolf tracks are counted and mapped. Carnivore Track Survey forms are carefully filled-out and submitted to WDNR Crex. Each of the blocks are surveyed three times at least one week apart.

  • Howl surveys are also used to confirm pack presence and new pup populations after dark between July and September. These are conducted to prove pack status and pup production by call and respond methods.

Results

To date, 186 people have participated in the track training course provided by Friends of Crex, Inc. members and Crex Meadows Wildlife Area staff over the last 3 years.

There are 23 volunteers who participate in the actual track surveys. Several of these trackers are trained sufficiently to conduct surveys on their own and submit their data to the tracking coordinator.

One group of volunteers are high school students from Grantsburg, led by Biology Teacher Matt Berg. These students take the tracking class each year and conduct actual surveys with Mr. Berg.

Throughout Survey Block 13 volunteers surveyed up to 243 miles each year and discovered an average of 53 wolf tracks in the block. In Survey Block 14 volunteers covered up to 125 miles and found up to 38 wolf tracks.

Conclusions

From track data collected in Survey Block 13, there is an estimated three packs averaging 4.5 individuals per pack. In Survey Block 14 two packs are estimated, each with five wolves. Howl survey results show at least two reproducing packs Survey Block 13 and one pack in Survey Block 14.

All completed reports are submitted to the WDNR Endangered Resources Wolf Program. These results are added to the Wisconsin statewide estimate. Carnivore results help monitor fluctuations in WI carnivore populations.

Funding Sources

Citizen-Based Monitoring Partnership Program

Keith Crowley

Bob Hanson, Wildlife Technician

Crex Meadows Wildlife Area

102 East Crex Avenue, Grantsburg, WI 54840

Volunteer carnivore tracking survey blocks


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