At last count, Michigan was home to over 80 threatened or endangered animals and insects, and more than 260 plant species. One of the ones that didn’t make it was the passenger pigeon. Michigan was one of the premier places in the world to watch the passenger pigeon migration, which would literally blacken the skies as hundreds of thousands of birds took flight. Unfortunately, their meat became a delicacy and they were easy to hunt, a combination that wiped out the species nationwide by 1914.
One hopes a happier ending will result for the gray wolf. With plenty of deer to eat and few roads and people to disturb them, wolves have begun to repopulate the Upper Peninsula without help from humans, strolling over from Minnesota, or across the ice from Ontario. (The wolves that originally populated Isle Royale came across on the ice in the late 1940s.) The wolf is doing so well, in fact, that it has been moved from endangered to threatened status. With all the controversy surrounding the wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone, Michigan’s wolves are indeed a success story.
by Laura Martone from Moon Michigan, 3rd Edition, © Avalon Travel