Appeals Court Affirms Lower Court’s Decision, Leaving Gray Wolf on Federal Endangered Species List

The gray wolf will stay on the endangered species list – that’s according to a recent ruling from the US Circuit Court of Appeals.

A panel on the court upheld and earlier ruling that aid the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acted prematurely when they removed the federal protections from the wolves in the Great Lakes region.

In the 54-page decision, the court says that many of the arguments used by federal and state regulators had shortcomings that showed there was substantial doubt in the Service’s 2011 decision to delist the species.

Wolves are native to Michigan since the melting of the last glacier according to the DNR, but were nearly driven from the state by the 1960’s and in 1973 there was estimated to be only six left in the entire state.

But by the 1980’s they had begun to repopulate in this state from Minnesota and Wisconsin.

As of 2015, the DNR estimated that there were 636 wolves currently in the state, mostly in the U.P. – although there has been sporadic sightings of the animals in the L.P.

More information on the court’s decision can be found here.