Wolf habitat analysis in Michigan: An example of the need for proactive land management for carnivore species

Thomas M. Gehring, Bradly A. Potter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Gray wolves (Canis lupus) likely will recolonize the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan (NLP). As such, land managers would benefit from information on the amount, distribution, and quality of potential wolf habitat in this region. We estimated that 2,198-4,231 km2 of favorable wolf habitat exist in the NLP, supporting an estimated population of 40-105 wolves. Favorable habitat was fragmented by road networks and was predominantly located in the northeastern part of the state on private land. We discuss the management of wolves in the NLP as a case study of wolf recolonization in a landscape that has a relatively high road density and agricultural lands that likely will be sources of conflict with wolves. We provide a hierarchical model for consideration in proactively managing landscapes that already or likely will contain several carnivore species concomitant with human land use. We suggest that this case study and our hierarchical model offer insight into how proactive land management should occur for wolves and other carnivores in the northern Great Lakes Region and other human-altered landscapes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1237-1244
Number of pages8
JournalWildlife Society Bulletin
Volume33
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2005

Keywords

  • Canis lupus
  • Carnivore-human conflict
  • Carnivores
  • Gray wolf
  • Integrated management
  • Livestock depredation
  • Michigan
  • Roads

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