More Wolves Detected in Northern Lower Peninsula
Following the accidental killing of a wolf in Presque Isle County in October, state wildlife officials today announced at least two more gray wolves have been detected in the Northern Lower Peninsula, and reminded hunters and trappers to be especially careful when taking game.
Wildlife biologists and conservation officers in Presque Isle County this week responded to a resident report of wolf sightings and confirmed that tracks in the area appear to be from a pair of wolves. Wildlife specialists will continue to monitor the area to learn more.
Trappers and hunters in the region are advised to ensure that they do not inadvertently harm or kill a wolf. Wolves remain protected under the federal Endangered Species Act and the Michigan Endangered Species Protection law. Because the population of wolves in the Great Lakes region has expanded and continues to grow, both the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Michigan DNR are planning to remove the wolf from the Endangered Species list.
Wolves began naturally returning to the U.P. via Canada and Wisconsin in the early 1990s. Today, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is home to at least 360 wolves.
The 70-pound female wolf mistakenly killed by a coyote trapper Oct. 23 was from a pack in the central Upper Peninsula. The wolf was wearing with a DNR tracking collar. Prior to that, the last recorded wolf in the Lower Peninsula was in 1910.
Department of Natural Resources officials urge the public to report wolf sightings in the Northern Lower Peninsula by contacting local DNR field offices. Reports of wolves in the Northern Lower Peninsula have been increasing in recent years, yet none of the observations of animals or sign were confirmed until recently.
The DNR will coordinate winter track surveys this season in the NLP, similar to those conducted in the UP for the past 20 years, along with USDA Wildlife Services, Central Michigan University, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and other groups.