Gray Wolf (Canis lupus)
Archived Information - Control of Depredating Wolves in
Set of Findings: Michigan DNR Wolf Depredation Permit (May 2006)
PDF of entire document (18 pages)
Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) submitted an application for a
permit to take gray wolves in order to conduct various recovery activities
for the species. A notice of the application was published in the Federal
Register on September 14, 2005. That notice opened a 30-day comment period
on the application. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) requested
written comments on the permit application by October 14, 2005.
A draft Environmental
Assessment (EA) was developed by Wildlife Services (WS), a program of
the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service. The USFWS was a cooperating agency, while the MDNR and the Great
Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission were consulting agencies in
the development of the EA. The EA was made available for public review
and comment on January 19, 2006. The draft Environmental Assessment examined
a range of options for addressing the problem of wolf damage in Michigan,
including a preferred alternative that would allow control of wolves that
kill or attack livestock and pets. Under the preferred alternative, a
permit would be needed to implement an integrated wildlife damage management
program allowing removal of depredating wolves.
numerous comments received during the comment period for the EA which
closed on February 21, 2006. This memorandum constitutes a Set of Findings
for processing the application and describes the Service's rationale for
making its recommendation to issue a Section 10(a)(1)(A) permit to the
applicant. This set of findings is organized, first by the requirements
of section 10 of the Endangered Species Act; second by the proposed action
and response to comments from the EA; and finally by the issuance criteria
of 50 CFR 17.22 (a)(2). Much of the information used in this document
is described in detail in the Environmental Assessment and Biological
preferred alternative, damage management would be conducted on private
or public property in Michigan when the resource owners/managers request
assistance to alleviate wolf damage, wolf damage is verified, and agreements
have been completed specifying the details of the damage management action.
The proposed action anticipates the USFWS issuing a permit for take of
wolves under Section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act.
act as agents of the MDNR which is the agency requesting a permit for
the take of depredating wolves from the USFWS. The types of wolf conflicts
that could be addressed include:
2) depredation on pets, and
3) potential threats to human health and safety.
preferred alternative, the Integrated Wildlife Damage Management strategy
would encompass the use of the full range of legal, practical and effective
methods of preventing or reducing damage while minimizing harmful effects
of damage management measures on humans, wolves, other species, and the
environment. Under this action, WS and the MDNR would provide technical
assistance and operational damage management, including non-lethal and
lethal management methods selected after applying the WS Decision Model
(Slate et al. 1992). When appropriate, best management practices (animal
husbandry), frightening devices, and livestock guarding animals could
be recommended and utilized to reduce wolf damage.
where non-lethal methods are ineffective or when the damage situation
and landowner practices meet USFWS and MDNR requirements, wolves would
be removed as humanely as possible using foot-hold traps, foot snares,
neck snares, and shooting. In determining the damage management strategy,
preference would be given to non-lethal methods when they are deemed practical
and effective. Lethal methods would be used to reduce damage after practical
and appropriate non-lethal methods have been considered and determined
to be ineffective or inappropriate in reducing damage to acceptable levels.
appropriate initial response to a wolf damage problem could be a combination
of non-lethal and lethal methods, or there could be instances where application
of lethal methods alone would be the most appropriate strategy. WS would
only use lethal WDM methods with the consent of the MDNR.
Michigan Gray Wolf Recovery and Management Plan (MDNR 1997), lethal control
can be used when: 1) there have been documented, confirmed losses at a
site, 2) the producer/owner has a signed depredation management plan for
the property which includes damage abatement recommendations (exact logistical
details of this agreement are currently being reviewed by MDNR). 3) WS
Specialists recommend euthanizing, and the MDNR approves. All wolf damage
management would be conducted in compliance with appropriate federal,
state, and local laws and court-mandated restrictions.
PDF of entire document (18 pages)
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