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Wolves and Humans: A Deteriorating Relationship?

P McConnell

With the state's first wolf hunt underway, a Wisconsin researcher looks into the animals' relationship with people.

Thousands of hunters are up north this Thanksgiving week for Wisconsin's annual deer hunt.  Meanwhile, the state's first sanctioned wolf hunt is still going on – it's been underway for more than five weeks.

As of Tuesday, hunters had killed 90 wolves, meeting the quotas of two zones - in the far northeastern corner of the state.

Just over two dozen wolves remain to close the first season in the state, in which 1160 permits were issued.  Minnesota is also holding a wolf hunt, and issued 36-hundred licenses.

Credit Wisconsin DNR
The map of permitted wolf harvesting zones in Wisconsin.

UW – Madison associate professor of environmental studies Adrian Treves studies wolves – and our relationships to them.

Treves tells WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence he's been monitoring a progressive change in human attitudes toward wolves – and the shift is not positive.  The study he co-authored with Lisa Naughton will appear in a forthcoming issue of the journal Conservation Biology.

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Susan Bence entered broadcasting in an untraditional way. After years of avid public radio listening, Susan returned to school and earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She interned for WUWM News and worked with the Lake Effect team, before being hired full-time as a WUWM News reporter / producer.