Survey reduces estimated Michigan wolf population

A survey indicates the number of gray wolves in Michigan's Upper Peninsula has dropped for the second consecutive year, but a state biologist says the change isn't significant and the population is stable.

The Department of Natural Resources released its latest wolf count Wednesday. It's based primarily on observation of tracks and animals fitted with radio collars.

The survey estimates the minimum number of wolves at 636, down from 658 last year and 687 two years ago.

The decline from 2013 to this year was 22 wolves, which is the number that were killed in the state's first managed wolf hunt last fall.

But DNR specialist Adam Bump says that's a coincidence. He says the hunt was meant to reduce conflicts between wolves and people, not the wolf population itself.