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Monday, 10 March 2008

Open Season on Michigan Wolverines


When The US Fish & Wildlife Service made up its list of Endangered Animals back in the early 1970's, the Michigan Wolverine was on it. This meant that anyone cutting down trees in designated Wolverine Habitat would be subject to stiff fines for endangering the ferocious little critter.

Well, as it happened, no wolverines were photographed in Michigan for the next 30 years. In fact, none had ever been photographed in Michigan's long history as a state. I almost said "sighted," but no sighting truly counts in today's world unless a photograph is taken. The upshot was that the Wolverine was declared officially extinct in Michigan, and wonder of wonders, it was taken off the list. Wolverines and wolverine habitat could now be endangered with impunity.


Nothing like declaring a species extinct and removing all protection on it to bring it back from extinction. Now unprotected by the strong arm of the F & W S, the Wolverine is back after at least a century of official absence. It's now been officially sighted (i.e. photographed) in the Michigan Thumb--far from its Canadian habitat.

Anyone want to go wolverine hunting in the Wolverine State?

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