Timber Wolf Alliance—Science, Outreach & Education

Wisconsin’s Wolf Awareness Week Begins on October 20, 2010. Join Timber Wolf Alliance in celebration of Wisconsin’s Gray wolf.

From Timber Wolf Alliance website:

In 1987, only eighteen wolves were estimated to live in Wisconsin and fewer in Upper Michigan. That year, the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute began the Timber Wolf Alliance to assist twenty-one organizations and many private individuals in promoting wolf recovery in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula through public education, citizen science, and volunteer activities.

The Timber Wolf Alliance is committed to investigating the facts and relies on research to dispel myths and unfounded fears associated with wolves. TWA provides training in wolf biology and ecology, develops and disseminates educational materials on wolves, and supports volunteers to help with wolf monitoring efforts.

Mission

To use science-based information to promote an ecologically-functional wolf population within areas of suitable habitat, and promote human coexistence with emphasis on Michigan and Wisconsin.

Timber Wolf Programs

Schedule a program to come to your library, fair, club, or event. Learn more about programs topics:

Myths about the Wolves of Wisconsin

Wolf Folklore

Pup Development

Wolf Ecology, & Management

Wolf Communication

Canids of Wisconsin

The Timber Wolf Alliance announced it has selected the work of Diane Versteeg for its 2019 Wolf Awareness Week poster. Versteeg’s work was selected in 2004, as well.

Versteeg of Spokane, Washington, has worked as an animal keeper in zoos, wildlife sanctuaries, and animal shelters for more than forty years. She started sketching in her free time in the early 1980s and later switched to scratchboard, also called scraperboard.

The Timber Wolf Alliance selected her scratchboard of a pair of bonded wolves nuzzling one another. Versteeg says she observed the two wolves—Nehani and Ramses—at Wolf Haven International where she worked in the mid-1990s.

“Ramses was always a very shy boy—curious but kept his distance,” she said. “Nehani was very friendly and outgoing, at least to me. She always came up to visit when I did daily rounds.”

Timber Wolf Alliance Coordinator Jordyn O’Gara says she and the selection committee chose Versteeg’s work because it is different than recent Wolf Awareness Week posters.

“We’re hoping it will make people pause and look at the poster because it is so unique,” she said. “Just like with the theme—we are hoping people will pause and reassess wolf management from a non-western culture point of view.”

Each year Wolf Awareness Week celebrates a broad theme in wolf conservation. In 2019, the Timber Wolf Alliance will be celebrating ma’iingan’s (wolves) relationship with the Ojibwe as well as other Native American cultures within North America.

As a part of Wolf Awareness Week, Timber Wolf Alliance will be hosting a documentary entitled “Ma’iingan: Brother Wolf,” as well as a keynote speaker Peter David, who will discuss the history of the Ojibwe and ma’iingan. Wolf Awareness Week will be held October 20–26.

5 things to know for Wolf Week in Wisconsin

Source Wisconsin has more than 200 wolf packs and 28 lone wolves and you can help track them this winter. Click HERE to learn about how you can help track wolves this winter. 
The state Department of Natural Resources will hold 15 workshops or classes on tracking and wolf ecology from now to February and is recruiting volunteers to help monitor the state’s wild canines.
Gray wolf numbers have increased in the Great Lakes region especially since a federal judge returned the animals to the endangered species list in 2014. Gray wolves are also known as timber wolves.
Some farmers, hunters and Republican politicians want the wolves off that list and subject to hunting, because wolves can be a menace to small ranchers. But advocates for the canines say the animals play an important role in the ecosystems.
Wolves in western states have preyed on elk, which in turn helped the growth of aspen and willow trees and decreased erosion along streams where the trees take root, said Adrian Wydeven, the coordinator of the Timber Wolf Alliance, at the private Northland College in Ashland. In Wisconsin, wolves have decreased the beaver population to the benefit of trout streams previously plugged up by beaver dams, Wydeven said.

In 1990 the Timber Wolf Alliance started Wolf Awareness Week, an educational effort which runs through Saturday. There’s a wolf ecology workshop in Ashland Saturday as part of the week.

In honor of wolf awareness, here are some fast facts about wolves in the Great Lakes.

1.  Wisconsin has nearly 900 wolves this year. That’s up 16 percent from 2015, according to the Timber Wolf Alliance.

2.  Encountering a wild wolf at close range is still a rare occurrence, according to the DNR’s “Living with wolves” page. People with pets should keep them in earshot or on a leash while in “wolf country” — Wisconsin’s Northwoods.

3.  In 2014 more Wisconsin residents surveyed by the DNR viewed wolves in a favorable light compared to those with unfavorable feelings toward wolves. About 26 percent of people in areas with wolf habitats wanted the population to stay steady, and 29 percent of people outside of wolf range wanted wolf numbers to stay the same in 2014. About 750 wolves made Wisconsin home in 2014-15. 

4.  Minnesota has the largest wolf population among Great Lakes states with more than 400 packs and roughly 2,200 wolves total, according to the Timber Wolf Alliance. Michigan’s wolf population estimate is just over 600 and declined slightly from 2014 to 2016

5. You can help track wolves and other Wisconsin carnivores. Volunteers have to take a wolf ecology course from the DNR, Timber Wolf Alliance or Timber Wolf Information Network as well as a DNR tracking course and a mammal track test. Volunteers complete three wildlife surveys and submit their findings to the state. 
Information on courses and the tracking program is available online at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/wildlifehabitat/training.html.
Featured art is this year’s Wolf Awareness Week poster from Timber Wolf Alliance, for how to order yours click HERE