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Minnesota at a glance

Minnesotan wolf

Gray wolves once existed throughout Minnesota; however, removal began shortly after European settlement. Wolves were removed from Minnesota mostly by poisoning. A state-directed wolf control program persisted until gray wolves were added to the endangered species list in 1974. At that time, the wolf population numbered approximately 750 animals. Minnesota is the only state in the contiguous United States that has always held a viable gray wolf population. Main prey for wolves there are deer, moose and beaver. Wolves occupy approximately 40 percent of the map shown, with most wolves occupying the northeastern portion of the state. Range lines are not depicted. According to federal recovery criteria, wolves in Minnesota have been biologically recovered for over a decade. They were delisted from the endangered species list in January 2012 and are currently state-managed.

Species Information

Map courtesy of MN DNR

Species 1
Common Name: gray wolf
Latin Name: Canis lupus

Potential species designation under debate by the scientific community
Common Name: eastern wolf, timber wolf
Latin Name: Canis lycaon
Location: C. lupus and the potential C. lycaon are indistinguishable from each other physically, behaviorally and ecologically. The only way to tell the difference between them is a genetic test and comparison. Both inhabit the northern third of Minnesota.

Current Wolf Population, Trend, Status
Number of wolves: 2,211 (2013 Report)
Population trend: Stable
Legal status: State managed as a game species

Human Relationships

Attitudes and Issues

Map courtesy of the USFWS

History

Recovery and Management
Information related to legal status, hunting and trapping regulations and management plans and practices in Minnesota.

Depredation

Ecology

Biology

Habitat

Prey and Predation Image

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