Minnesota wolf estimate edges slightly upward

Gray wolf
File photo of a gray wolf at the Minnesota Zoo.

The latest survey of Minnesota's wolf population estimates a slight increase.

The Department of Natural Resource says the annual survey ticked upward to 2,278 wolves. That's about 50 more than last year's estimate.

Great Lakes wolves went off the endangered species list in 2012, and Minnesota soon allowed annual wolf hunts.

But the animal went on the federal threatened list in 2014, and no hunt was held last winter. That makes this the first survey since hunts were suspended.

The DNR says the newest number isn't a significant change. Dan Stark, the agency's large carnivore specialist, says it shows the wolf population is healthy and stable.

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