Contacts: Jennifer Kleitch 989-785-4251, ext. 5430 or Mary Dettloff
The Department of Natural Resources and Environment today announced it
will conduct a survey in the northern Lower Peninsula Feb. 16 through
March 12 to detect the presence of gray wolves in this area of the
Survey teams will be searching areas where the public reports observing
a wolf or wolf tracks during the survey period. Priority will be placed
on the most recent reports and reports with potential wolf evidence.
“The purpose of the survey is to both verify the presence of wolves
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 important.”
The DNRE is asking the public to report wolf sightings that occur
during the survey period to the Gaylord Operations Service Center at
989-732-3541, ext. 5901. Observation reports can also be submitted
online year-round at www.michigan.gov/wolves. The Web site also contains
identification information for wolves.
“It’s imperative that observations are reported in a timely manner
so we can work with fresh evidence. If the public finds what appear to
be wolf tracks, they should preserve the physical evidence and disturb
it as little as possible or take a photo of the tracks with a ruler,”
Kleitch said. “If someone has a photo or video of a wolf in the Lower
Peninsula, we’re interested in that as well.”
Wolves 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, the
DNRE verified two wolf observations in 2009 in the northern Lower
Peninsula as a result of a video and trail camera photo taken by
The DNRE is partnering in this survey effort with USDA Wildlife
Services, the Little Traverse and Grand Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa
Indians, and Central Michigan University.