Archive: Wolves Remain Federally Protected in Great Lakes Region 

Top appeals court rejects effort to remove federal protections for wolves

August 1, 2017

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

A D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on August 1 maintains federal protections for wolves in the Great Lakes, a victory for wildlife organizations including the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS), which has spent years working to protect wolves.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently proposed to remove Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region, including Michigan, stating that populations of wolves have recovered in the area and thus the species no longer requires protecting.

“Wolves play an essential role in the Great Lakes ecosystem and also benefit agriculture, water quality and ecotourism,” said Ron Kagan, DZS executive director and CEO. “Michigan voters rejected two previous wolf-hunting measures – it is clear that the majority of people in Michigan do not support trophy hunting or trapping of wolves.”

The DZS supported a referendum campaign launched by the Humane Society of the United States and other animal welfare and conservation groups and Native American tribes and urged its members and others in the state to oppose the designation of wolves as a game species.

The Cotton Family Wolf Wilderness opened at the Detroit Zoo in 2015 as a sanctuary for wolves and to educate visitors on their importance.