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jaybe's picture
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Michigan DNRE Seeks Help from Public to Detect Presence of Wolves in Northern Lower Peninsula

This news was just released by the Michigan DNR on Monday, Feb. 14, 2011:

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment today announced it will conduct a survey in the northern Lower Peninsula Feb. 15 through March 14 to detect the presence of gray wolves in that region of the state.

"The purpose of the survey is to verify the presence of wolves both where we have previously confirmed animals and to detect new occurrences in other areas," said DNRE wildlife biologist Jennifer Kleitch. "Given the low probability of observing a wolf or tracks in the Lower Peninsula it's helpful to have as many eyes looking as possible. That's why public reports are so important."

Wolves are a federally protected species that began naturally returning to Michigan's Upper Peninsula via Canada and Wisconsin in the early 1990s. Since that time populations have increased and continue to expand their range. Evidence of range expansion into the Lower Peninsula came when a gray wolf was accidentally killed in Presque Isle County in 2004. More recently, wolf breeding was verified in Cheboygan County in 2010.

The DNRE is asking the public to report any recent sightings of wolves or tracks they believe were made by wolves to the Gaylord Operations Service Center at 989-732-3541, ext. 5901 during the survey period. Reports of observations can also be submitted online at www.dnr.state.mi.us/wildlife/pubs/wolf_obsreport.asp.

Survey teams will be searching areas where there have been one or more observations. Priority will be placed on recent reports and those submitted during the survey period.

"It's important that observations are reported in a timely manner so we can work with fresh evidence. If the public finds what they believe are wolf tracks, they should preserve the physical evidence and disturb it as little as possible or take a photo of the tracks alongside a ruler," Kleitch said. "If someone has a photo of a wolf in the Lower Peninsula, we'd certainly be interested in that as well."

Information on wolves in Michigan and links to other wolf-related web pages can be found at www.michigan.gov/wolves.

The DNRE is partnering in this survey effort with US Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services, the Little Traverse and Grand Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and The University of Michigan.

 

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I wonder if, and when, they

I wonder if, and when, they will do the same thing with cougars!

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Well - we've been hearing

Well - we've been hearing reports of wolves here for at least a decade and they've just now decided to do a survey on it - you know - to see if it's true.

  It's only been about 5-6 years since I first heard about cougars here - don't rush them!  lol

 

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Yep, I heard the reports once

Yep, I heard the reports once in a while, but finally a year or so ago they finally made definite sightings of a couple in the northeast part of the LP.  They are probably having fun with the elk up in the Pigeon River Forest!!!

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Even when they find definite

Even when they find definite proof that wolves are in the LP, it will be a long time before they do anything about it.

Currently, there are so many in the UP that hunters are reporting seeing more wolves than deer. A friend of mine who has a cabin there saw 4 deer and 7 wolves in a WEEK. He used to see 20-30 deer a DAY and no wolves. Now he hears them howling from at least 2 directions every night.

Funny, though - when the DNR goes out to check, they never seem to see any. Confused

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Just out of curiosity why are

Just out of curiosity why are they reporting them in the northern l.p. but not southern? Did they take the bridge over from the u.p.? lol

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 Don't know for sure, but

 Don't know for sure, but critters do come across the straits of Mackinac on the ice. Most winters it freezes across at least for a little while. That's the most likely way they got from the Upper to the Lower Peninsula.

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Actually I completely forgot

Actually I completely forgot that it would freeze over. I've only been over the bridge once, and out to the island in the summer time.

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