Dispersal of Gray Wolves in the Great Lakes Region

  • Adrian Treves
  • Kerry A. Martin
  • Jane E. Wiedenhoeft
  • Adrian P. Wydeven

12.1 Introduction

In less than 40 years, gray wolves (Canis lupus) rebounded from a population of <700 wolves restricted to northeastern Minnesota to >4,000 wolves across northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan (Chaps. 4–6, this volume). This recovery is due in part to changing human attitudes toward wolves, protection by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and favorable ecological conditions (Mladenoff et al. 1997; USFWS 2007; Schanning, this volume). Furthermore, two features intrinsic to wolf life history facilitated rapid recovery: long-range movements and broad habitat tolerance. The wolf is a habitat generalist, using all habitat types of the northern hemisphere except tropical rain forests and deserts (Mech 1970). Equally important is their tremendous capacity for rapid, long-distance movement, allowing them to colonize distant, suitable areas rapidly. Mech and Boitani (2003) describe wolf packs as “dispersal pumps” that...


Great Lake Region Observe Location Gray Wolf Deer Density National Land Cover Dataset 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nelson Institute for Environmental StudiesUniversity of Wisconsin - MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Wisconsin Department of Natural ResourcesPark FallsUSA

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