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Michigan gray wolves again subject to endangered species protections

gray_wolf_in_snow_by_MacNeil_Lyons_NPS.jpg
MacNeil Lyons
/
U.S. National Park Service
A federal judge in California handed down a ruling this week that restores federal protections to gray wolves in much of the U.S.

A federal judge restored endangered species protections for the gray wolf in some U.S. states, including Michigan, this week.

That means gray wolves can only be killed in Michigan if they are posing an immediate threat to human life, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.

Anyone who kills a wolf will need to report it to authorities and could be sentenced to 90 days in jail or fined $1,000.

This ruling reverses a Trump administration decision that removed protections for wolves and allowed them to be hunted.

Farm and hunting advocates have complained that wolves attack livestock and herds.

"It’s not that we need to hunt wolves, it’s that we need to manage wolves and the management tools that we have include hunting and trapping when the population reaches a particular point where it can sustain that," said Republican State Sen. Ed McBroom.

Animal rights activists called the decision a win.

"We’ve really seen what happens pretty dramatically once federal Endangered Species Acts protections are removed from wolves," said Matthew Koehler with WildEarth Guardians. "It really just facilitates a wholesale slaughter."

The state Department of Natural Resources says there are around 600 gray wolves in Michigan.

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