MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – There are roughly 631 wolves in the Upper Peninsula. According to data from the latest survey by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the 2022 survey numbers estimate 631 wolves, plus or minus 49 wolves. A total of 136 packs was estimated with an average number of individuals per pack calculated at 4.5.

The DNR said in a release, that completing analysis of the survey data was delayed as wildlife biologists focused on updating the state’s Wolf Management Plan.

Completing analysis of the field data collected during the DNR’s 2022 wolf survey was delayed

A close-up image of a gray wolf is shown from Marquette County.Wildlife biologists from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources today released their findings of the latest Michigan gray wolf survey. The survey, conducted in early 2022, shows the wolf population in the Upper Peninsula remains stable, as it has for more than a decade.“These results show a continued trend of statistical stability, indicating that gray wolves may have reached their biological carrying capacity within the Upper Peninsula,” said Cody Norton, the DNR’s wolf specialist. “Wolf presence has only been confirmed twice genetically in the Lower Peninsula in recent times; in 2004 and 2014.”The survey, which is conducted every other winter, covers the U.P., including Drummond, Neebish and Sugar islands, with Isle Royale excluded. The wolves on Isle Royale are managed by the National Park Service.

The following information was also included in a release from the DNR:

Trending results

The wolf population in the U.P. showed mostly steady growth from 1989 to 2011. From 1994 to 2007, the population grew at an average annual rate of 19%. From 2003 to 2007, the average annual growth rate was 12%.

The growth rate was expected to decline as the population moved toward the maximum level the U.P. can sustain.

Since 2011, the minimum estimate for the wolf population has remained stable ranging from 618 to 695. A minimum of estimate of 695 wolves occurred in the U.P. during the winter of 2020.

New dashboard

The DNR has produced a new online dashboard, making incidence of wolf-dog conflicts more accessible for viewers. The dashboard includes mapped data points of conflicts and a database of incidents over many years.

The improvement in presenting the data was suggested during meetings in 2022 of the Wolf Management Advisory Council and sections of the recently update Michigan Wolf Management Plan.

Find out more about wolves and the Michigan Wolf Management Plan at Michigan.gov/Wolves.