The most recent survey conducted by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources estimated a healthy stable population of almost 700 wolves in the state’s Upper Peninsula.
Safari Club International’s Michigan Involvement Committee, a volunteer leadership group of the state’s Chapter network, has been supporting this research and monitoring effort since 2004. More than $100,000 has been invested in the project, along with matching contributions from the SCI Foundation’s conservation program. The vast majority of this funding was used to pay for VHF radio and more recently GPS tracking collars.
SCI has been an adamant advocate for the federal delisting of the Western Great Lakes wolf populations. Our government affairs and litigation teams have been involved in numerous legislative initiatives and court cases to transfer management authority of the species to the state wildlife agencies and to provide regulated hunting opportunities. The Fish & Wildlife Service again proposed lifting the protections in March 2019, but has not taken any final action.
Acting Chief of the Wildlife Division, Dan Kennedy, says “our survey results continue to demonstrate that Michigan’s wolf population has recovered.” These data further demonstrate that Michigan’s wolf population is not in need of protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
“Thank you to the MIC leadership and all the SCI Chapters in Michigan for their long-time support for this wolf research,” said SCI Foundation Conservation Committee Chair and retired Michigan DNR biologist, Jim Hammill.
SCI Chapters in Michigan, led by the MIC and further supported by the Foundation, actively support many conservation projects, most importantly including the famous Michigan Predator-Prey Project and ongoing winter deer yard habitat improvement work in the UP.