Minnesota Timber Wolves

     I haven’t heard from Shadow or the Bakers about the wolf with mange.  I hope he was a lttle warmer this morning at 10 degrees then he was yesterday morning at 36 below zero. I heard the "microscopic mange critters" can be killed by freezing but I guess that doesn’t count when they are on the body of a warm blooded animal.   I can’t imagine how cold the wolf must feel without a fur coat to protect him.

     I heard through a friend that animals infected with mange do not normally make it through the winter.  The DNR does not have a program for rehabilitating sick or wounded Timber Wolves.  Until the wolf has left the area the DNR recommends removing all food sources and not leaving  pets unattended while outside. 

     I’m guessing the reason the wolf is hanging around the neighborhood is because there is a good food source nearby.  Deer have always herded around the Gunflint Lake area because of feeding which the DNR does not recommend.  This type of deer herding is not common and the feeding of the animals is what is causing this unatural behavior.  I’m not sure if the wolf is looking for a meal of corn or waiting for a weak or injured deer enroute to the feeding corral. 

     While the mange is not normally spread from wild animal to human or domestic pet it can be spread from one wild animal to another.  Scientist Sue says this wolf could be infected with the demodectic mange and according to M. Shaw and A. Kocan, "Infestations with Demodex folliculorum are not common in deer but when they do occur, they usually result in considerable pathogenicity. This mite lives in the hair follicles and sebaceous glands of its host and varieties are reported from most animals. Excessive tissue growth occurs associated with the lesions. Lesions may become secondarily infected with bacteria, compounding the problem." 

     Shaw and Kocan also say, "Transmission of parasites from deer to deer is often a natural phenomenon with the outcome being of little consequence to the infected animal. When conditions change and deer numbers increase beyond acceptable levels and when suitable habitat is either reduced or destroyed, parasites and other diseases can often have a dramatic impact on populations. As a result, monitoring deer numbers and habitat condition as well as ascertaining parasite and diseases surveillance becomes extremely important in maintaining adequate numbers of healthy deer."

     What is in the future for the wolf with mange or the Gunflint deer population?  Only time will tell. 

More information from the MN DNR-

Federal Gray Wolf Court

Decision FAQs, October 6, 2008


On September 29, 2008, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia overturned the Department of the Interior’s decision to remove the Gray Wolf (Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment) from federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections. The status of gray wolves in Minnesota is once again threatened under the Endangered Species Act.


Does this mean that there is a threat to Minnesota ‘s wolf population?

No. For decades, the number of wolves in Minnesota has exceeded the recovery criteria established by the federal wolf recovery plan. Currently, Minnesota‘s population of more than 2,900 wolves is second only to Alaska among U.S. states and exceeds the federal delisting goal of 1,251-1,400. Minnesota ‘s wolves occupy nearly all of the suitable areas in the state. Minnesota has one of the highest wolf densities recorded anywhere, and the population has remained stable for nearly 10 years.


What does the court ruling mean for wolves in Minnesota ?
All provisions of state wolf management have been suspended until gray wolves are delisted again in Minnesota . Wolf management authority lies with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The court order returned the wolf to ESA threatened status in Minnesota . This action took effect Monday September 29, 2008.


How are wolves managed differently under federal law than they were under state law?
Under federal law you cannot take a wolf under any circumstances to protect livestock and pets. Wolves may be killed in defense of human life. Authorized government agents may take wolves where verified depredation occurs. Taking of wolves to protect livestock and pets, which was allowed under state management, is no longer allowed.


Can I shoot a wolf to defend myself or others?
Yes, wolves may be killed in defense of human life.


What should I do if I have a problem with wolves and my livestock?
If individuals suspect that wolves have killed their livestock or they are experiencing some other conflict with a wolf they should immediately
contact a Minnesota Conservation Officer and they can provide assistance or contact the appropriate federal authorities. When livestock losses are verified government trappers may remove wolves. In most instances, you will have to leave a recorded message 24/7.


What exactly did the judge make his decision on?
The United States District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the final rule that had designated a cluster of gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region as a "distinct population segment", or DPS, and had de-listed that population, including the wolf population in Minnesota . A court order consistent with the opinion was issued effectively placing the Western Great Lakes DPS gray wolves back on the endangered species list. The ruling was based on how statutory authority was applied by the USFWS, not on biological or population management concerns.


Who filed the lawsuit?
The Humane Society of the United States, Help Our Wolves Live, Animal Protection Institute, and Friend’s of Animals and Their Environment filed the lawsuit in April of 2007.


What is going to happen next?
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is in the process of examining the opinion to determine the most appropriate course of action. In the meantime, USFWS published a notice on their website and advised the relevant states about this change. The USFWS has cooperatively resumed management responsibilities with the States of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan in accordance with the court’s order and will examine the ruling to determine the next actions.