Wolves Reported on Michigan’s Northern Lower Peninsula

A group of up to three wolves may be living on the Lower Peninsula

For many years there have been lone wolves reported on the Lower Peninsula but this is the first confirmation of more than one. The wolves may have crossed the frozen lake near Mackinac Bridge to get there from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where wolves are well established.

DNRE, USDA Confirm Wolf Tracks in Cheboygan County
Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment

Court-ordered Settlement Restores Endangered Species Act Protections to Great Lakes Wolves

How will this affect the wolves of the Northern Rockies? RM

Press Release.
Humane Society of the United States
Center for Biological Diversity

Court-ordered Settlement Restores Endangered Species Act Protections to Great Lakes Wolves

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Update:
Great Lakes wolves returning to endangered list
By JOHN FLESHER
Associated Press

Update, July 1, 2009
Statement by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Service Will Provide Additional Opportunity for Public Comment

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reached a settlement agreement with plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the Service’s 2009 rule removing Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes. Under the terms of the agreement, which must still be approved by the court, the Service will provide an additional opportunity for public comment on the rule to ensure compliance with the Administrative Procedures Act.

Gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes area have exceeded recovery goals and continue to thrive under state management. However, the Service agrees with plaintiffs that additional public review and comment was required under federal law prior to making that final decision.

Upon acceptance of this agreement by the court, and while the Service gathers additional public comment, gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes area will again be protected under the Endangered Species Act. All restrictions and requirements in place under the Act prior to the delisting will be reinstated. In Minnesota, gray wolves will be considered threatened; elsewhere in the region, gray wolves will be designated as endangered. The Service will continue to work with states and tribes to address wolf management issues while Western Great Lakes gray wolves remain under the protection of the Act.

This settlement agreement does not affect the status of gray wolves in other parts of the United States.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

Although the Great Lakes gray wolf is officially recovered, new genetic analysis indicates it is not a pure wolf

~I think this is the most important wolf story in quite a while~

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Perhaps the greatest success story in terms of numbers is the recovery of the wolf in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

Recovery began, however, before genetic analysis had advanced. Far more is known today, and the recovered wolf in the Great Lakes area is a mixture of the orginal wolves of the Great Lakes area, the Eastern Timber wolf (which seems to be a separate species very closely related to the red wolf) and coyotes.

Nevertheless, I think the restoration is a successful and important program because these large canids are on the ground fulfilling the same ecological function as the wolves of 200 years ago.

Genetic purity is important, nonetheless, and the only restored wolf population that clearly is all wolf are the wolves of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming which came down from Western Canada beginning in the 1980s on their own accord and were also captured and reintroduced to Yellowstone Park and central Idaho in 1995-6.

The story below does not mention this, but what it means is that the most vital wolf population from the standpoint of conserving and restoring endangered speices is the wolves in these three states — the very states which are going to be given a nearlly free hand to kill them once they are delisted as long as each state maintains a token population of about 10-15 packs (how these will be counted is a matter of controversy).

Off Endangered List, but What Animal Is It Now? By Mark Derr. New York Times.