Weekly Wolf: Sightings in Michigan, NYC Coyotes, Montana Ranch Battles, and Idaho Elk Scares

Wily wolves keep their canines on this week's wildlife news cycle

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You can’t keep a good wolf down—or a bad one, for that matter, as everyone’s favorite canine just keeps intersecting with the realm of humanity, for better or worse. Forthwith, a brief look at all the wolf-centric news howling all over the country this week:

Wolves confirmed in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Wildlife officials confirmed the presence of at least two wolves in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula after positively identifying tracks found on a farmer’s land in Cheboygan County. They’ve been present in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for decades, but if officials can establish that a breeding pack now roams the lower half of the state, they’ll have to implement a new management plan. “It’s exciting that wolves returned here,” Cynthia Radcliffe, Great Lakes wolf program coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation, told the Traverse City Record-Eagle. “People love to hear the wolves howl.” So far, hunters remain unconcerned. The Upper Peninsula supports as many as 577 wolves.

Close wolf relative the coyote has been spotted in New York City again this week—the fourth sighting this year. Police attempted to capture the animal, but it darted away and avoided capture. Instead of simply describing this intrepid dude as “wily,” we’re going to let the video tell the tale:

New study shows wolf put pressure on elk populations in Idaho. Analysis of elk populations in Idaho show that the ungulates have become more skittish, drop in weight, and produce fewer calves since the reintroduction of wolves. Biologists note that this could simply reflect a natural balancing in the ecosystem, but hunters and other ecologists worry that wolves could negatively influence the long-term prospects for elk.

Wolves continue breaking records for livestock killed in Montana. Wolves doubled the number of sheep they killed in Montana last year, and upped their take of ranch cattle from 77 to 97, stoking the already-hot fires of debate about wolf management in Montana. Wildlife officials say that ranch lands occupy only a minimal amount of Montana wolf hunting habitat, but ranchers contend the situation is out of hand. This is far from over, people…

—Ted Alvarez

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