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MICHIGAN WOLF MANAGEMENT PLAN UPDATED 2015 Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wi ldlife Division Report No. 3604 June 11, 2015 Printed by Authority of: PA 451 of 1994 Total N umber of Copies Printed. . . Cost Per Copy: .. .. $ 5 Total Cost: . . $ Michigan Department of Natural Resources IC2041 ( June 11, 2015)

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) appreciates the valuable contributions offered by many individuals, agencies and organizations during the development of this plan from 2006 2008 and the u pdate to th is plan in 2014 – 2015 We thank the thousands of Michigan residents who helpe d shape the content of this plan through their par ticipation in public wolf meetings held throughout the State , through the input and opinions they shared during public – comment periods, through their involvement in focus – group discussions, and through their participation in public – attitude surveys. We express our appreciation to the members of the Michigan Wolf Management Roundtable for their dedication and hard work as they developed a set of principles to help gu ide wolf management in Michigan. Those principles are directly reflected in the managemen t strategies outlined throughout this document. We extend a special thank s to Dr. R. Ben Peyton , now retired faculty member in the collaborative Partners in Ecological Research and Management program between the Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and the DNR . A s the facilitator of the Michiga n Wolf Management Roundtable, Dr. Peyton rose to the challenge of building consensus among group members and played an integral role in the success of the group . In addition, he and his colleague, Peter Bull, conducted an extensive study of attitudes held by Michi gan residents regarding wolves; their data were an indispensable component of the planning process. We thank our Federal, State and Tribal agency partners for their cooperati on in wolf management and for the information and feedback they offered during the development of this plan. We especially acknowledge the contributions of the USDA Wildlife Services , whose expertise and assistance has been and continues to be a critical component of the wolf management program in Michigan . Finally, w e thank members of the Wolf Management Forum for their continued involvement in wolf management in the State through implementation of th e 2008 plan and contributing their comments on how t o improve the 2015 updated plan . A contribution of Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration, Michigan Project W – 147 – R

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Equal Rights for Natural Resource Users The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) provides equal opportunities for of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, age, sex, height, weight or marital status under the Civil Rights Acts of 1964, as amended (MI PA 453 and MI PA 220, Title V of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act). If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, ac tivity, or facility, or if you desire additional information, please write the MDNR, HUMAN RESOURCES, PO BOX 30028, LANSING MI 48909 – 7528, or the MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL RIGHTS, STATE OF MICHIGAN PLAZA BUILDING, 1200 6TH STREET, DETROIT MI 48226, or the OFFICE FOR DIVERSITY AND CIVIL RIGHTS, US FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, 4040 NORTH FAIRFAX DRIVE, ARLINGTON VA 22203. For information or assistance on this publication, contact: MDNR, WILDLIFE DIVISION, P.O. BOX 30444, LANSING, MI 48909 – 7944, – or – publication is available in alternative formats upon request. TTY/TTD (teletype): 711 (Michigan Relay Center). COVER A RT BY KEITH GROVE Keith Grove has had a life long interest in wildlife and has promoted this interest as a specialty throughout his 25 – year career as an award – winning, commercial illustrator. After completing a commission for three white – tailed deer oil paintings for a series of prints that sold out in a national catalog, Keith decided it was time to concentrate on his own wildlife subjects. Using alkyd oils and a r by capturing unique, cameo moments of wilderness life. A graduate of the college of Associated Arts, St. Paul, Keith has also studied classical realism and conti nues to expand his knowledge of computer graphics and large – format printing techniques for the production of his own giclĂ©e prints. For more information, contact Keith at grovewildife@aol.com . LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS DNR Michigan Department of Natural Resources LP Lower Peninsula MSU Michigan State University UP Upper Peninsula USDA United States Department of Agriculture USFWS United States Fish and Wildlife Service NRC Michigan Natural Resources Commission

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i TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. INTRODUCTION .. .. .. 1 1.1 Purpose of Plan .. .. .. 1 1.2 Context of Plan .. .. .. . 1 2. PLANNING PROCESS .. .. .. 3 2.1 Intr a – and Inter – agency Scoping .. .. .. 3 2.2 Public Meetings and Comment Period .. .. 3 2.3 Focus – group Meetings .. .. 4 2.4 Public – attitude Surveys .. .. . 4 2. 5 Review of Science Relevant to Wolf Management in Michigan 5 2.6 Michigan Wolf Management Roundtable .. 5 2.7 Plan Writing .. .. .. .. 6 2.8 Public Review and Comment .. .. . 6 2.9 2015 Plan Update Process .. .. 6 3. WOLF BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY .. .. 7 3.1 Wolf Taxonomy .. .. .. 7 3.2 Physical Description .. .. . 8 3.3 Social Structure and Behavior .. .. .. 8 3.4 Reproduction .. .. .. . 9 3.5 Causes a nd Rates of Mortality .. .. .. 9 3.6 Immigration and Emigration .. .. .. 10 3.7 Wolf Food Habits .. .. .. . 10 3.8 Ecological Function .. .. 11 3.9 Wolf Habitat .. .. .. 12 4. WOLVES I N MICHIGAN .. .. .. .. 12 4.1 History .. .. .. . 12 4.2 Recent Population Size and Distribution .. 14 4.3 Isle Royale .. .. .. . 1 5 5. WOLF MANAGEMENT GOALS .. .. 16 5.1 Maintain a Viable Population .. .. . 16 5.1.1 .. 16 5.1.2 Need to Maintain a Viable Population .. .. 17 5.2 Facilitate Wolf – related Benefits .. .. . 18 5.2.1 Benefits Valued by Michigan Residents .. .. 18 5.2.2 Providing Benefits through Management .. 19 5.3 Minimize Wolf – related Conflicts .. .. .. 20 5.3.1 Need to Minimize Conflicts .. .. . 20 5.3.2 Effective Conflict Management .. .. . 21 5.4 Conduct Science – based and Socially Acceptable Management .. 21 6. WOLF MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES .. .. 22 6.1 Increase Public Awareness and Understanding of Wolves and Wolf – related Issues. .. .. .. . 22

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iii 6.8.3 Promote opportunities for people to experience and appreciate wolves. .. .. .. . 42 6.9 Manage Actual and Perceived Threats to Human Safety Posed by Wolves. .. .. .. 42 6.9.1 Promote accurate public perceptions of the human – safety risks posed by wolves. .. .. .. .. 42 6.9.2 Provide timely and professional responses to reports of human – safety risks posed by wolves. .. .. 43 6.9.3 Minimize the incidence of rabies in wild and domestic populations. .. 44 6.9.4 Promote accurate public perceptions of the human – safety risks posed by echinococcosis .. .. . 44 6.9.5 Prevent or minimize the habituation of wolves. .. .. 45 6.9.6 Eliminate actual human – safety threats where they occur. . 45 6.10 Manage Wolf Depredation of Domestic Animals. .. . 47 6.10.1 Provide timely and professional responses to reports of suspected wolf depredation of domestic animals. .. . 48 6.10.2 Minimize the risk of wolf depredation of domestic animals. .. 49 6.10.3 Eliminate or minimize ongoing wolf depredation of domestic animals. .. .. .. 50 6.10.4 Develop a program to allow livestock producers to control depredating wolves on their property. .. .. 51 6.10.5 Facilitate financial compensation for livestock losses caused by wolves. .. .. .. . 52 6.10.6 Work with partners to reduce the likelihood of privately owned cervids lost to wolves. .. .. . 54 6.11 Minimize the Negative Impacts of Captive Wolves and Wolf Dog Hybrids. .. .. .. .. 54 6.11.1 Minimize and deter the possession of captive wolves in Michigan. . 54 6.11.2 Minimize and deter the possession of wolf dog hybrids in Michigan. .. 55 6.12 Develop Socially and Biologically Responsible Managemen t Recommendations Regarding Public Harvest of Wolves. .. 56 6.12.1 Develop recommendations regarding public wolf harvest for the pur pose of reducing wolf – related conflicts. .. 57 6.12.2 Develop and implement a policy regarding public wolf harvest for reasons other than managing wolf – related conflicts. .. . 58 7. PLAN MONITORING AND REVIEW .. .. . 60 8. FUNDING .. .. .. .. 61 9. LITERATURE CITED .. .. .. . 63 10. APPENDIX: .. .. .. 75 MICHIGAN WOLF MANAGEMENT ROUNDTABLE REPORT .. 75

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1 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 Purpose of Plan This plan provides strategic guidance for the management of wolves in Michigan. It was developed to help : 1) maintain a viable Michigan wolf population above a level that would warrant its clas sification as threatened or endangered ; 2) facilitate wolf – related benefits ; 3) minimize wolf – related conflicts ; and 4) conduct science – based wolf management with socially acceptable methods. The DNR has a public trust responsibility for the management of all wildlife species and populations. Primary legal authority for wildlife management and regulation comes from the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, Public Act 451 of 1994 ( www.legislature.mi.gov ). Part 401 of Publi c Act 451 gives specific authorities to the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) and the DNR Director to issue orders regulating wildlife management and hunting. Accordingly , this plan was developed primarily to guide the DNR management of wolves and any subsequent recommendations to the NRC . T his plan also may inform Federal, State and Tribal agencies and private organizations as they develop strategies pertinent to wolves . We hope this plan encourage s cooperation and consisten t approaches among partner s in their efforts to manage wolves in Michigan . This plan does not outline operational details of wolf management in Michigan. Operational details will be specified within an adaptive – management framework, in which specific management methods are routin ely adjusted and updated as local conditions, technology, regulations, and other aspects of management context change. 1.2 Context of Plan In 1997, the DNR finalized the Michigan Gray Wolf Recovery and Management Plan (Michigan DNR 1997). That plan was developed when the gray wolf ( Canis lupus ) in Michigan was classified as a federally endangered species and the number of wolves in the State was relatively small. The plan focused on the biological needs of a small population and was a valuable tool for the recovery of wolves in Michigan. It also contributed to the regional recovery of wolves in the western Great Lakes region: in 2007, the U.S. Fish and Wi ldlife Service (USFWS) removed the gray wolf in the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment, which includes all of Michigan, from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species (USFWS 2007). To address these changes and to continue to manag e the wolf population based on the best available scientific information, the DNR revised its original wolf plan and created the 2008 Michigan Wolf Management Plan. The 2008 plan addressed the challenges associated with the biological, social and regulato ry context of wolf management in Michigan at that time. From 1997 to 2015, the context of wolf management in Michigan has changed in a variety of ways.

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2 Wolf population size and distribution have expanded, presenting a different set of biological and soci al issues that need to be addressed ; including the complex and divisive issue of public hunting of wolves . Understanding of wolf biology has improved significantly, enabling managers to better predict the consequences of their management decisions. Sinc e 2000, USDA Wildlife Services personnel have played a key role in population monitoring, research, training of field staff, and program planning. The DNR and USDA Wildlife Services have formalized their cooperative relationship in a memorandum of underst anding. T he legal status of wolves at both the Federal and State level has changed multiple times , which impacts the ability of all agencies to manage wolves. In April of 2009, wolves were removed from the State Threatened and Endangered Species List (Part 365 of Public Act 451 of 1994) and given Protected Animal status under the Wildlife Conservation Order . In January 2012, wolves in Michigan were removed from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species (USFWS 2011) . On two separa te occasions, once in 2012 and again in 2013, wolves were classified as game animal s in Michigan. The latter statute provided the NRC with the ability to designate species as game, and as such, expanded their authority beyond the method and manner of take of game species. The laws that allowed these classifications were repealed by public referendum in November of 2014. However, in Au gust of 2014, citizen initiated legislation then again classified wolves as game animals . Furthermore, this legislation added the authority to classify species as game animals to already existing authority to decide if a game species will be hun ted , and the parameters around a regulated harvest . The effective date of the citizen initiated legislation is March 31, 2015. In the fall of 2014, the DNR initiate d an update to the 2008 Michigan Wolf Management Plan and shortly after, in December 2014, a Federal court decision returned wolves in the western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment to the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species. This action marked the 5th time, due to lawsuits or threat of lawsuits against USFWS delisting effor ts, the Federal legal statu s of wolves changed in Michigan since 2008. Regardless of changes in legal status , this updated management plan acknowledges that wolves in Michigan have surpassed State and Federal population recovery goals for 1 5 years. Further, and r egardless of the Federal listing status, the State has and will continue to have management responsibility for wolves in the State. It is the regulatory authority over lethal take of wolves that varies with the changing State and Federal sta tus of wolves. Therefore, the ability of, or the methods used by, the State to implement some parts of this plan will vary depending on the Federal an d State legal status of wolves.

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3 2. PLANNING PROCESS The DNR developed the 2008 plan through a process that included review of the best available scientific informatio n and substantial involvement of affected stakeholder groups and the general public. The process included the following eight phases : Intra – and inter – agency scoping Publ ic meetings and c omment p eriod Focus – group meeting s Public – attitude s urveys Review of science relevant to wolf management in Michigan Michigan Wolf Management Roundtable Plan writing Public r eview and comment The information compiled and evaluated during all of these phas es was used to produce a plan that is based o n sound science and careful and resp ectful consideration of the diverse perspectives held by Michigan society. These phases are described under the following headings. 2.1 Intra – and Inter – agency Scoping In August 2004, the DNR met with Fed eral and State agency partners to identify issues regarding wolves and their management in Michigan . Each agency shared its vision and concerns regarding wolf management. Agencies also ident ified future wolf management needs and opportunities for continuing partnerships. After this initial meeting, the DNR Wolf Management Work Group conducted a situational analysis to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats and issues surrounding future wolf manageme nt in Michigan . During the ensuing months , the g roup continued to explore the issues and formulated a plan and t imeline for revising the Michigan wolf management plan . 2.2 Public M eet ings and Comment P eriod In May 2005, the DNR hosted ten public meeti ngs to discuss wolf management in Michigan . Six meetings took place in the Upper Peninsula (Watersmeet, Houghton, Escanaba, Newberry, Sault Ste. Marie and Marquette) and four meetings took place in the Lower Peninsula (Clare, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor and G aylord). The purpose of the meetings was to provide the public with an opportunity to identify important issues and express opinions regarding wolves and wolf management in the State. A professional facilitator not affiliated with the DNR moderated each meeting. Meeting participants were given the opportunity to provide verbal comments, and they were also asked to complete a survey regarding their views on wolves and wolf management. Based on information obtained from sign – in sheets, at least 560 people attended the public meetings. Four hundred twenty – two of those individuals attended t he Upper Peninsula (UP) meetings , and the remaining 138 individuals attended the Lower Peninsula (LP) meetings. Four

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