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The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has an interactive map showing verified wolf depredations of livestock, pets and hunting dogs.

So far in 2022, the department has documented 30 confirmed or probable livestock deaths due to wolves. The majority of the deaths are beef calves.

Most such killings occurred in the far northern part of the state, near Superior. Others happened on the Menominee/Langlade county line and in central Wisconsin. 

Federal data are published less frequently. A 2015 U.S. Department of Agriculture report found wolves accounted for 2,040 of the 41,680 deaths caused by predators — less than 5%.

Nationally, the biggest livestock predators, in order, are coyotes (16,880); unknown predators (6,570); and dogs (4,700).

The depredations have a small impact on the livestock industry, according to Colorado State University Extension, but “impacts to individual producers can be substantial.” Better data are needed, some researchers argue, to justify the dramatic increase in hunting and trapping of wolves.


Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: Gray Wolf Depredation

Colorado State University: Wolves and Livestock

US Department of Agriculture: Death Loss in U.S. Cattle and Calves Due to Predator and Nonpredator Causes, 2015

Society for Conservation Biology: A new era of wolf management demands better data and a more inclusive process

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Hope Karnopp joined Wisconsin Watch as a reporting intern in May 2022. She is a journalism major and is pursuing certificates in public policy and environmental studies at UW-Madison. Hope previously covered state politics as an intern for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She also works with the Daily Cardinal and hosts a radio segment about campus news for WORT-FM, which has been recognized by the Milwaukee Press Club.