Presenters and speakers from 19 countries will be among the experts attending a global symposium on wolves in Duluth this weekend, the Duluth News Tribune reports.
Titled "Wolves and Humans at the Crossroads," the four-day symposium, which starts Thursday, comes less than a month before Minnesota's second wolf hunt gets underway.
The event is the fifth global symposium sponsored by the Minnesota-based International Wolf Center over the past 25 years, and the first one since 2005.
A record 450 people are registered to attend the symposium, which will feature the likes of L. David Mech, an internationally renowned expert on wolves based in Minnesota who has 55 years of field experience across the U.S. and Canada, as well as European wolf expert Luigi Boitani from the University of Rome.
The Wolf Center says the event will also be attended by wildlife conservationists, wolf enthusiasts and educators.
The symposium will focus on, among other things, the issues wolves face globally -- and the interest level has grown a lot since the last symposium, Wolf Center co-founder and board member Nancy Gibson tells the paper.
Minnesota's early hunting season begins Nov. 9, with the late season slated to start Nov. 30.
After a survey revealed the wolf population has declined, the state only issued 3,300 hunting permits this year, down from 6,000 a year ago.
The Star Tribune reports that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources cut down the number of permits down since the quota for wolves this year dropped to 220 from 400 in 2012.
This year's hunt has again drawn protests, this time from the likes of Minnesota native and acclaimed actress Jessica Lange, who wrote an open letter to Gov. Mark Dayton last month imploring him to stop the event.