Canis lupus Linnaeus, 1758
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Canis lupus lycaon
Basis for Former Listing
Prior to European settlement, the gray wolf, sometimes called the timber wolf, inhabited most of North America south to at least 20° latitude (Mech 1995). Human persecution, habitat deterioration, and the reduction of prey populations led to the decline of wolves. Wolves were almost completely eliminated from the western United States by the 1930s. In Wisconsin and Michigan, wolves were eliminated by the mid-1960s. At that time, only a small number of wolves survived in northeastern Minnesota and on Isle Royale in Michigan, although large populations remained in Canada and Alaska.
Basis for Delisting
The current density of the gray wolf is approximately 1 per 10 square miles. Alaska is the only U. S. state with a higher population of gray wolves than Minnesota. Minnesota's gray wolf range has expanded from a 12,000 square mile area in the 1950's to over 27,000 square miles. As of 2013, the population is estimated at 2,200, which exceeds the federal delisting goal of 1,250-1,400. Minnesota's gray wolf population has remained stable over the last 10 years, with most areas of suitable habitat in the state now occupied. These data suggest that the population has fully recovered and special concern status is no longer necessary. The gray wolf was removed from Minnesota special concern status in 2013.
References and Additional Information
Berg, W., and S. Benson. 1999. Updated Wolf population estimate for Minnesota, 1997-1998. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
Boitani, L. 2003. Wolf conservation and recovery. Pages 317- 340 in L. D. Mech and L. Boitani, editors. Wolves: behavior, ecology, and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois.
Erb, J. 2008. Distribution and abundance of Wolves in Minnesota, 2007-08. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Grand Rapids, Minnesota. 11 pp.
Fritts, S. H. 1983. Record dispersal by a Wolf from Minnesota. Journal of Mammalogy 64:166-167.
Fritts, S. H., and L. D. Mech. 1981. Dynamics, movements, and feeding ecology of a newly protected Wolf population in northwestern Minnesota. Wildlife Monograph No. 80. 79 pp.
Fritts, S. H., W. J. Paul, L. D. Mech, and D. P. Scott. 1992. Trends and management of wolf-livestock conflicts in Minnesota. United States Fish and Wildlife Service Resource Publication 181, Washington, D.C. 27 pp.
Fuller, T. K. 1989. Population dynamics of wolves in north-central Minnesota. The Wildlife Society Wildlife Monographs No. 105. 41 pp.
Fuller, T. K., W. E. Berg, G. L. Radde, M. S. Lenarz, and G. B. Joselyn. 1992. A history and current estimate of Wolf distribution and numbers in Minnesota. Wildlife Society Bulletin 20:42-55.
Harper, E. K., W. J. Paul, and L. D. Mech. 2005. Causes of Wolf depredation increase in Minnesota from 1979-1998. Wildlife Society Bulletin 33(3):888-896.
Kreeger, K. J. 2003. The Internal Wolf: Physiology, Pathology, and Pharmacology. Pages 192 - 217 in L. D. Mech and L. Boitani, editors. Wolves: behavior, ecology, and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois.
Mech, L. D. 1970. The Wolf: the ecology and behavior of an endangered species. Natural History Press, Garden City, New York. 389 pp.
Mech, L. D. 1974. Canis lupus. American Society of Mammalogists, Mammalian Species No. 37. 6 pp.
Mech, L. D. 1977. Wolf-pack buffer zones as prey reservoirs. Science 198:320-321.
Mech, L. D. 1988. Longevity in wild wolves. Journal of Mammalogy 69(1):197-198.
Mech, L. D. 1995. The challenge and opportunity of recovering Wolf populations. Conservation Biology 9:270-278.
Mech, L. D. 2000. Wolf research in Minnesota. Pages 37-49 in L. D. Mech, editor. The wolves of Minnesota: howl in the heartland. Voyageur Press, Stillwater, Minnesota.
Mech, L. D. 2001. Managing Minnesota's recovered wolves. Wildlife Society Bulletin 29:70-77.
Mech, L. D., and E. K. Harper. 2002. Differential use of Wolf, Canis lupus, pack territory edge and core. Canadian Field Naturalist 116:315-316.
Mech, L. D., E. K. Harper, T. J. Meier, and W. J. Paul. 2000. Assessing factors that may predispose Minnesota farms to Wolf depredations on cattle. Wildlife Society Bulletin 28:623-629.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 2001. Minnesota Wolf management plan. Division of Wildlife, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, St. Paul, Minnesota. 36 pp. + appendices.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 2012. Statement of need and reasonableness. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Division of Ecological and Water Resources. St. Paul, Minnesota. 337 pp.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 2013. Distribution and abundance of wolves in Minnesota. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. St. Paul, Minnesota. 11 pp. + appendices.
Paul, W. J. 2000. Wolf depredation on livestock in Minnesota annual update of statistics 1999. United States Department of Agriculture, Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
Treves, A., L. Naughton-Treves, E. Harper, D. J. Mladenoff, R. A. Rose, T. A. Sickley, and A. P. Wydeven. 2004. Predicting human-carnivore conflict: a spatial model derived from 25 years of data on Wolf predation on livestock. Conservation Biology 18:114-125.
United States Fish and Wildlife Service. 2003. Gray Wolf eastern distinct population segment. United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Twin Cities, Minnesota.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1978. Recovery plan for the Eastern Timber Wolf. United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1992. Recovery plan for the Eastern Timber Wolf. United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Twin Cities, Minnesota. 73 pp.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2008. Post-delisting monitoring plan for the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment of the Gray Wolf. U.S. Fish and WIldlife Service, Twin Cities Field Office and Midwest Region. Bloomington, MN and Ft. Snelling, MN. 13 pp.
Young, S. P., and E. A. Goldman. 1944. The wolves of North America. The American Wildlife Institute, Washington, D.C. 636 pp.