LANSING, MI –
The gray wolf no longer has endangered species protections in Michigan. The wolf was officially moved off the federal endangered species list Friday. And, as we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, state wildlife officials are now responsible for wolf management
The gray wolf was nearly extinct when it was placed on the federal endangered species list almost 30 years ago. But people complained that, as the wolf population recovered, they could not legally shoot wolves that attacked pets or livestock.
Ed Golder of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says now farmers and pet owners can kill a wolf in some situations
"...That is where the wolf is in the act of preying upon livestock or dogs," he says. "There has to be an imminent threat."
The gray wolf still has some protections because it remains in the state's list of threatened species. Golder says it is still a crime to shoot or trap a wolf that doesn't pose an immediate threat. It's estimated there are now nearly 700 gray wolves in Michigan, mostly roaming fields and forests in the Upper Peninsula.