Wildlife research

Wildlife researcher logging field samples

Science at work

Science drives the rules and regulations that conserve, protect and perpetuate Minnesota wildlife. The program's 30 research scientists, biologists and support staff ensure that good science informs DNR wildlife management decisions every day.

Focus areas

  • Farmland: provides information needed to manage major wildlife species in Minnesota's farmland zone.
  • Forest: provides information needed to manage major wildlife species in the forests of northern Minnesota.
  • Health: monitors, responds to and researches wildlife health and disease outbreaks as well as causes and cures.
  • Wetland: provides information needed to manage major wildlife species in wetlands and monitor waterfowl.

Research summaries & publications

  • Research summaries: DNR wildlife researchers and biologists conduct and participate in a wide variety of research projects every year. Their work is detailed in individual summaries and a compiled annual report that includes all research summaries from the past year.
  • Reports & surveys: DNR wildlife biologists and researches conduct population surveys and collect data for other reports that provide important information to make management decisions. Some of those reports are listed here; others can be found on the management or hunting page for a particular species.

Human dimensions

  • Opinion surveys: DNR's wildlife section considers social processes and consequences along with ecological processes in its natural resource management decisions.

Research tools

  • DNRSurvey: DNRSurvey is an ESRI ArcMap AddIn developed by MnDNR Wildlife and MNIT Services to facilitate aerial surveys of wildlife. It is moving map software with customized data entry forms to record point, line, polygon, or audio point features in real time.


Seth Goreham, wildlife research manager, St. Paul
[email protected]

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