The first presence of a grey wolf has been confirmed on the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Reservation in Harbor Springs. A camera captured this photo of a wolf in winter of 2014. (Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians)
A biologist for the tribe's natural resource department noticed tracks and fresh scat while en route to a rebait camera used for an annual carnivore survey on the north end of the reservation in Harbor Springs during the winter months of 2014.
The tracks and stride were consistent with those of a wolf. The motion-activated bait station camera captured several photos.
Tracks measured 4 3/4 inches long by 3 3/4 inches wide. The stride, measuring the distance one foot travels from one step to the next, ranged from 45 to 53 inches, the tribe said.
Trent University in Ontario conducted a DNA analysis of the scat sample. On Sept. 8, the tribe's natural resource department received positive confirmation that the animal is consistent with a male grey wolf.
The tribe approved a wolf management plan in 2009.
Wolves in Michigan and other Great Lakes states were removed from the federal endangered species list in 2012, but federal protections were reinstated in December due to a federal judge's order.
Michigan is home to roughly 600 wolves, up from just six in the 1970s.