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Response to wolf column by Rep. Markkanen

EDITOR:

Thank you for publishing “It’s time for feds to let Michigan manage its own wolf population”

I am writing to point out an error:

The very definition of an apex predator is an animal who is at the top of the food chain. That means other factors than someone else killing them control apex predators’ numbers: factors such as starvation, the difficulty of their lives, intraspecific aggression.

Mr. Markkanen states: “Without management (read: hunting), its (wolves) population could reach numbers that will be detrimental to other species”

No, sir. This is not how apex predators function in the ecosystem. Again, they don’t need someone to kill them for their numbers to stabilize.

In fact, the number of wolves has been stable in Michigan and nearby Wisconsin for several years. They have reached the carrying capacity and now will need to move outside the state to colonize other suitable areas. THIS is why they are still on the endangered species list — so they can be the source population of animals to recolonize the areas where they once were.

When the wolves are removed from the endangered species list, I hope Mr. Markkanen and everyone else in Michigan remember that their citizens clearly voted NOT to hunt their wolves. Wolf numbers will be just fine without the interference of people.

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