Most Michiganders like having wolves in their home state

Feb 28, 2012

The overwhelming majority of Michigan residents place value on having wolves in their home state while a small minority would buy a license to hunt them, according to a Michigan State University study.

The survey, which addresses how the state could manage its wolf population now that Canis has been removed from the federal , indicates that 82 percent of those surveyed value knowing that there are in Michigan. On the other end of the spectrum, only 14 percent report that they would purchase a license to hunt wolves.

However, it is important to seriously consider the responses of Upper Peninsula , some of whom have to live with wolves in their backyards and farms, according to Meredith Gore, assistant professor of fisheries and wildlife.

“Although UP residents placed the lowest value on wolves, still 61 percent said they value them,” she said. “However, they also showed the greatest interest in purchasing a hunting license. In fact, 55 percent of those surveyed said they would.”

The intent of the study, which polled nearly 1,000 residents, was to measure public opinion about hunting before policy changes are proposed. It was designed to give legislators and other policymakers insight about how Michiganders may react to legislation and policies managing the wolf population, which is estimated at approximately 600.

“We asked the questions in such a way to determine how residents felt a decision to hunt should be made,” Gore said. “We wanted to measure how many Michiganders agree that decisions should be based on biological science compared to those who think that they should be handled via a public vote.”

Nearly 80 percent of residents agreed that science should be used to decide a hunt. This is compared to 56 percent of those surveyed who indicated the issue should be decided through a ballot initiative. This finding shows support for public belief in science, namely in support of science’s role in wildlife management, Gore added.

The study was co-authored by Michael Nelson, MSU associate professor of environmental ethics and philosophy, and Michelle Lute, MSU graduate student. Researchers from Michigan Technological University also contributed to the survey. The questions were part of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research’s Office for Survey Research at MSU.

Explore further: Citizen scientists match research tool when counting sharks

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Strength in numbers? For wolves, maybe not

Sep 29, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Watching a pack of wolves surround and hunt down much larger prey leaves most people with the impression that social predators live in groups because group hunting improves the odds of a kill. ...

Grey wolf withdrawn from US endangered list

May 04, 2009

The grey wolf was Monday taken off the US list of endangered species, making a comeback 35 years after it virtually disappeared and can now be hunted in most US states, officials said.

Consumer confidence hits five-year high in Michigan

Oct 27, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Despite Michigan’s continued economic malaise, residents’ optimism about the future is at its highest in nearly five years, according to Michigan State University’s latest State of the State ...

Wolf hunting strategy follows simple rules

Oct 28, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new study of wolves (Canis lupus) has found that communication between pack members and a social hierarchy are not essential features of a successful hunt, and all the wolves have to do ...

Recommended for you

Invasive vines swallow up New York's natural areas

13 hours ago

(Phys.org) —When Antonio DiTommaso, a Cornell weed ecologist, first spotted pale swallow-wort in 2001, he was puzzled by it. Soon he noticed many Cornell old-field edges were overrun with the weedy vines. ...

Citizen scientists match research tool when counting sharks

Apr 23, 2014

Shark data collected by citizen scientists may be as reliable as data collected using automated tools, according to results published April 23, 2014, in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Gabriel Vianna from The University of Wes ...

Researchers detail newly discovered deer migration

Apr 23, 2014

A team of researchers including University of Wyoming scientists has documented the longest migration of mule deer ever recorded, the latest development in an initiative to understand and conserve ungulate ...

How Australia got the hump with one million feral camels

Apr 23, 2014

A new study by a University of Exeter researcher has shed light on how an estimated one million-strong population of wild camels thriving in Australia's remote outback have become reviled as pests and culled ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Genetic code of the deadly tsetse fly unraveled

Mining the genome of the disease-transmitting tsetse fly, researchers have revealed the genetic adaptions that allow it to have such unique biology and transmit disease to both humans and animals.

Ocean microbes display remarkable genetic diversity

The smallest, most abundant marine microbe, Prochlorococcus, is a photosynthetic bacteria species essential to the marine ecosystem. An estimated billion billion billion of the single-cell creatures live i ...

Cell resiliency surprises scientists

New research shows that cells are more resilient in taking care of their DNA than scientists originally thought. Even when missing critical components, cells can adapt and make copies of their DNA in an alternative ...