Friday, February 15, 2008

DNR Looking for Wolves- You Can Help

photo by Deborah Walker
Department of Natural Resources wildlife officials today announced the DNR will conduct a survey in the northern Lower Peninsula now through March 10 to detect the presence of gray wolves in this part of the state.

"The goal of the survey is to verify the presence of wolves both in the area where we previously confirmed tracks and detect new occurrences in other parts of the region," said DNR Wildlife Biologist Brian Mastenbrook.

Wolves began naturally returning to the Michigan's Upper Peninsula via Canada and Wisconsin in the early 1990s. Today, the U.P. is home to at least 500 wolves. Following the accidental killing of a wolf in Presque Isle County in 2004, the DNR also confirmed two other gray wolves in the northern Lower Peninsula in 2005.

The DNR is asking the public to report any sightings of wolves or tracks they believe were made by wolves from mid-February through mid-March to the DNR Gaylord office at (989) 732-3541, ext. 5901.

Mastenbrook said this year there will be a targeted search approach. Survey teams will be searching areas where there have been one or more public observations. Sightings from earlier in the year will be considered but sightings during the survey period will be especially important. Given the low probability that tracks will be found, public reports are very important in helping the DNR identify potential wolf locations.

"If the public finds anything related to wolves, we are encouraging them to preserve the physical evidence or take photographs, and then contact us as soon as possible so that we can follow up with field investigations," Mastenbrook said.

The DNR is partnering in this survey effort with USDA Wildlife Services, Central Michigan University and the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians.

a news release of the Michigan DNR, Feb 14, 2008
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