The U.S. Department of Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service today announced that it plans to remove the western Great Lakes gray wolf population from the Endangered Species list.
These are wolves found in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and areas adjoining these states.
Acting Service Director Rowan Gould was quoted in today's press release:
“Gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes are recovered and no longer warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act. Under this proposed rule, which takes into account the latest taxonomic information about the species, we will return management of gray wolves in the Great Lakes to state wildlife professionals. We are confident that wolves will continue to thrive under the approved state management plans.”
There will be a sixty-day comment period before the rule is finalized.
Mary Detloff, a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, says the state supports the decision and is ready to take over management of the species:
"The most recent estimate that we have of the minimum winter population for wolves in Michigan is around 687 animals which far exceeds our recovery goal here in the state. Our recovery goal was around 200-300 wolves."
Detloff says delisting the wolf would allow the state to deal with problem wolves.