Wolf Recovery in the Great Lakes Region: What Have We Learned and Where Will We Go Now?

  • Adrian P Wydeven
  • Timothy R Van Deelen
  • Edward J Heske

21.1 Introduction

When we originally wrote this chapter in July 2008, gray wolves had been off the federal list of endangered species in the western Great Lakes region of the USA for 16 months. As Ron Refsnider indicated in Chap. 20, several animal welfare organizations challenged federal delisting after delisting was completed on March 12, 2007. On September 29, 2008, a federal district judge in Washington, DC, vacated the delisting, and wolves in Minnesota returned to the threatened list and wolves in the remainder of the Western Great Lakes region returned to endangered status. The judge did not indicate that wolves had not recovered in the region but questioned the use of Distinct Population Segments for designating the delisting. We expect these technicalities of the Endangered Species Act to be resolved over the next few years, and feel that biological recovery of this population has occurred in this region.

While some, including some of the authors in this volume, might argue...


Great Lake Region Gray Wolf Wolf Population Distinct Population Segment Wolf Management 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Boitani, L. 2003. Wolf conservation and recovery. In Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation, eds. L. D. Mech and L. Boitani, pp. 317–340. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. Chavez, A. S., Gese, E. M., and Krannich, R. S. 2005. Attitudes of rural landowners toward wolves in northwestern Minnesota. Wildlife Society Bulletin 33:517–527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Gehring, T. M., and Potter, B. A. 2005. Wolf habitat analysis in Michigan: an example of the need for proactive land management for carnivore species. Wildlife Society Bulletin 33:1237–1244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Haight, R. C., Travis, L. E., Nimerfro, K., and Mech, L. D. 2002. Computer simulation of wolf-removal strategies for animal damage control. Wildlife Society Bulletin 30:844–852.Google Scholar
  5. Kyle, C. J., Johnson, A. R., Patterson, B. R., Wilson, P. J., Shami, K., Grewal, S. K., and White, B. N. 2006. Genetic nature of eastern wolves, past, present and future. Conservation Genetics 7:273–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Mech, L. D. 1970. The Wolf: Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species. Garden City, NY: Natural History Press.Google Scholar
  7. Michigan Department of Natural Resources. 2008. Michigan Wolf Management Plan, Wildlife Division Report No. 3484. Lansing, MI: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Division.Google Scholar
  8. Morell, V. 2008. Wolves at the door of a dangerous world. Science 319:890–892.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Naughton-Treves, L., Grossberg, R., and Treves, A. 2003. Paying for tolerance: rural citizens’ attitudes toward wolf depredation and compensation. Conservation Biology 17:1500–1511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Nie, M. A. 2003. Beyond Wolves: The Politics of Wolf Recovery and Management. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  11. Radeloff, V. C., Hammer, R. B., and Stewart, S. I. 2005. Sprawl and forest fragmentation in the U.S. Midwest from 1940 to 2000. Conservation Biology 19:793–805.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Stephenson, R. O., Ballard, W. B., Smith, C. A., and Richardson, K. 1995. Wolf biology and management in Alaska 1981–92. In Ecology and Conservation of Wolves in a Changing World, eds. L. N. Carbyn, S. H. Fritts, and D. R. Seip, pp. 43–54. Edmonton, AB: Canadian Circumpolar Institute.Google Scholar
  13. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2008. Final rule designating the Northern Rocky Mountain population of gray wolves as a Distinct Population Segment and removing this Distinct Population Segment from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Species. Federal Register 73(39):10514–10560.Google Scholar
  14. Vucetich, J. A., Nelson, M. P., and Phillips, M. K. 2006. The normative and legal meaning of endangered and recovery in the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Conservation Biology 20:1383–1390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Williams, C. K., Ericsson, G., and Heberlein, T. A. 2002. A quantitative summary of attitudes toward wolves and their reintroduction (1972–2000). Wildlife Society Bulletin 30:575–584.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wisconsin Department of Natural ResourcesPark FallsUSA
  2. 2.Department of Wildlife EcologyUniversity of Wisconsin – MadisonMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Illinois Natural History SurveyUSA

Personalised recommendations