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Upper Peninsula wolf population at nearly 700 but leveling off

A DNR trail camera image, taken in August 2019, of a gray wolf in the Upper Peninsula. A DNR trail camera image, taken in August 2019, of a gray wolf in the Upper Peninsula. |  Photo: Michigan DNR

Created: July 27, 2020 10:47 AM

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Wildlife officials say Michigan's gray wolf population appears to have stabilized, three decades after beginning a remarkable comeback in the Upper Peninsula.

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The latest biennial survey conducted this winter estimates the predator species’ population at 695, divided among 143 packs. The Department of Natural Resources says the typical pack has around five wolves.

Officials say the population has leveled off at between 600 and 700 after years of rapid growth.

“Given the relatively consistent abundance estimates since 2011, it appears the wolf population has likely reached the carrying capacity of the Upper Peninsula,” DNR wildlife management specialist Cody Norton said in a news release.

Wolves had all but disappeared from the Lower 48 states in the last century but have rebounded after getting federal and state protection.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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