Change in Occupied Wolf Habitat in the Northern Great Lakes Region

  • David J. Mladenoff
  • Murray K. Clayton
  • Sarah D. Pratt
  • Theodore A. Sickley
  • Adrian P. Wydeven

8.1 Introduction

The concept of wolf habitat and relative suitability has changed significantly over the past several decades. In large part, this occurred because of insights gained during expansion of the wolf population in the northern Great Lakes states (Mech 1970; Erb and DonCarlos, this volume; Beyer et al., this volume; Wydeven et al., this volume). Protection from intentional killing of wolves since 1974, under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, began the process of wolf population growth and expansion in northeastern Minnesota, with eventual recolonization of northern Wisconsin and upper Michigan (Beyer et al., this volume; Wydeven et al., this volume).

In 1955, Wisconsin game manager John Keener wrote about wolves, “This animal is a symbol of the true wilderness. He cannot tolerate the advancing civilization of his wild home” (Keener 1955: 22). As late as the 1980s it was still generally believed that wolves required wilderness to survive, though research was beginning to...


Land Cover Class Road Density Great Lake Region Wolf Number Core Habitat 
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Funding was provided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Endangered Resources Funds. Funding for wolf surveys were from Federal Aid in Wildlife Conservation Projects (Pittman-Robertson Funds), US Fish and Wildlife Service, Wisconsin Endangered Resources Funds, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, and private donations. We are grateful to J. Wiedenhoeft for providing recent data. Major assistance was also provided on wolf surveys by R. Schultz, R. Thiel, B. Kohn, S. Boles, J. Wiedenhoeft, Wisconsin DNR pilots, other DNR staff, and volunteers.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. Mladenoff
    • 1
  • Murray K. Clayton
    • 2
  • Sarah D. Pratt
    • 3
  • Theodore A. Sickley
    • 4
    • 5
  • Adrian P. Wydeven
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Forestry and ManagementUniversity of Wisconsin – Madison, Russell LabsUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Plant Pathology and StatisticsUniversity of Wisconsin – MadisonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Forest and Wildlife EcologyUniversity of Wisconsin – MadisonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Forest and Wildlife EcologyUniversity of Wisconsin – MadisonUSA
  5. 5.National Geographic SocietyNational Geographic SocietyUSA
  6. 6.Wisconsin Department of Natural ResourcesUSA

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