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E-M:/ Michigan Wolf Population Continues to Grow

Enviro-Mich message from "Richard Morscheck" <morscher@michigan.gov>

July 7, 2005

Contacts: Brian Roell 906-228-6561, Todd Hogrefe 517-373-1263 or Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014					

Michigan Wolf Population Continues to Grow

Department of Natural Resources officials today announced results of the most recent wolf survey, which indicates at least 405 wolves are now roaming Michigan's Upper Peninsula, a 13 percent increase from the 360 animals counted in 2004.  The survey was conducted during the winter months when wolf numbers are at their lowest.

Wolves dispersing from Canada, Minnesota and Wisconsin were occasionally present in the UP during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Reestablishment of a resident population appears to have begun in 1989 when three animals established a territory in the western UP. Since 1989, the wolf population has increased every year except 1997, when a small population decline was noted.

Last winter, DNR biologists, in cooperation with USDA Wildlife Services, spent more than 2,000 hours conducting the wolf survey, which used tracking, aerial observations of packs with radio-collared wolves, and other evidence to determine the number of animals. The DNR regularly monitors approximately 40 wolves that have been fitted with radio collars to determine their movements and survival.

In May, the DNR held 10 public meetings to receive input from citizens on issues they felt were important for the future management of wolves.  These meetings were one of the first steps taken toward revising the Michigan Wolf Management Plan.  To encourage additional public input, an email address and a mailing address were provided (see below) as another means of submitting comments to the DNR.  The comment period will conclude on September 1, 2005.

The DNR encourages citizens to report any wolf sightings. Individuals who see a wolf, find a wolf track, or discover other evidence of a wolf can contact any DNR office to obtain a wolf observation report 
form. The form and more information also can be found on the DNR web site, www.michigan.gov/dnr. 

In the event of wolf depredation on livestock or domestic pets or other wolf-related problems, please call the Report All Poaching (RAP) line at 800-292-7800.  This number is available 24 hours a day and operators are instructed to route the call to the proper personnel. 

The public can provide wolf comments by e-mail at wolf_comments@michigan.gov or by U.S. Mail at DNR Wildlife Division, Attn: Endangered Species Coordinator, PO Box 30444, Lansing, MI 48909.

The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural resources for current and future generations.


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