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Exploring Michigan's Endangered Species

In December, gray wolves were removed from the endangered species list. Federal laws protected them for more than 40 years and now more than 6,000 roam 10 states outside of Alaska. Michigan's Upper Peninsula is one of them.

Like the American alligator and the California condor, gray wolves have been brought back from the brink of extinction in part due to the Endangered Species Act.

The Act – which went into effect 38 years ago on December 28, 1973 – prevents loss or harm of endangered species and preserves the ecosystems upon which these species depend. In the United States, 422 animals remain endangered and the numbers change regularly. In Michigan, birds like the Kirtland's warbler and piping plover are endangered.

The copper-belly water snake, the Canada lynx and Karner blue butterfly are other Michigan animals on the list. To find out more about endangered species visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at

Source: USA Today online article Dec. 28, 2011 by Laura Bly, "Wolves off the endangered list- good news or bad?" &

Content provided by Oakland University.

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