The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service announced Wednesday it will remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list in the Great Lakes Region.
Under the delisting management of the animals would return the the states by the end of January. States effected by the delisting would be Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and portions of adjoining states, including North Dakota. The population of gray wolves in Minnesota is around 3,000, the highest of the lower 48 states.
Minnesota could start offering a hunting/trapping season on the gray wolf as soon as Fall 2012.
Click to read Minnesota’s Management Plan. http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/natural_resources/animals/mammals/wolves/wolfplan2000.pdf
To read Brad Dokken of the Grand Forks Herald story on the subject click the link. http://www.northlandoutdoors.com/event/article/id/224558/publisher_ID/40/
Weight in on your thoughts about the delisting? Have you had any experiences with the gray wolf while in Minnesota, or any other state?
Personally, the echos of wolves howling over a small lake while camping alone in Itasca State Park in Northern Minnesota leave a memory of the wild I will not soon forget.
To bring species back from near extinction in the lower 48 to the point where management is needed is a true testament to how well the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service can work. Kudos.
From South Dakota Game Fish and Parks
DNA testing of a sample taken from a wolf-like animal that was recently killed by a coyote hunter confirmed the animal was indeed a wolf from the Great Lakes Region. The hunter who mistakenly shot the animal was hunting coyotes north of Woonsocket, South Dakota in Sanborn County on December 18, 2010. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks law enforcement officials confiscated the 90 pound male animal after being made aware of the incident.
â€œMinnesota has a healthy wolf population, so itâ€™s not uncommon for young male wolves to periodically wander into the Dakotas,â€ said Wildlife Conservation Officer Chris Kuntz of Huron. â€œYoung male wolves are often pushed out of a pack and will simply wander across country. They usually donâ€™t spend much time in any one location and generally move out of an area within a few days from when theyâ€™re first sighted,â€ said Kuntz. â€œUnfortunately in this case, a hunter mistook the animal as a coyote and it was killed,â€ he said. The hunter that shot the wolf will not be charged with a violation, as he clearly misidentified the animal as a coyote.
Hunters pursuing coyotes in eastern South Dakota are reminded that wolves are listed as â€œendangeredâ€ under the Federal Endangered Species Act. This protection makes it illegal for a hunter to kill or possess such species. â€œHunters are reminded to use extreme caution when hunting coyotes to make sure they can identify their target before they shoot,â€ said Kuntz.
While camping in the North Woods of Minnesota I have heard my fair share of wolves howling throughout the night but never had the opportunity to see one, let along see one in South Dakota.Â Have any of your seen a wolf while in South Dakota?Â Let us know your experience by commenting on this post.