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Two Minnesota wolves relocated to Michigan’s Isle Royale

Minnesota wolves

Photo credit: Thinkstock Photos

Michigan’s remote, rugged Isle Royale was once home to hundreds of wolves. Yet, there are only two wolves left and the two remaining are inbred, meaning that trying for a recovery with only these two wolves won’t work. Enter two new Minnesota wolves that were recently relocated to Isle Royale to kickstart a multiyear recovery effort that officials hope will snowball into at least 20 to 30 wolves over the next three years, the Associated Press reports.

Wolves play an important part of the ecological balance on the island as moose populations continue to grow. According to the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), nearly 1,500 moose inhabit the island, “throwing the health of the park out of balance and devastating the island’s vegetation” due to their heavy grazing. As goHUNT previously reported, if an adult moose eats up to 60 lbs of plants per day, imagine what could happen to Isle Royale’s ecology—and the moose population in general—if that goes unchecked. Hence, the need to reestablish a healthy wolf population on the island to keep moose numbers in balance.

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The 4-year-old female and 5-year-old male were flown to Isle Royale last Wednesday from the Grand Portage Indian Reservation in Minnesota, according to the Associated Press. Both were released in different locations that did not encroach on the other older wolves’ established territory. The new wolves were out of their crates by nightfall.

Four additional wolves—most likely from Minnesota or Michigan’s Upper Peninsula—will be relocated to the island later this fall to continue the recovery efforts. As the new wolves establish territories, the park service will “evaluate the project’s success by monitoring moose kill rates, genetics, wolf-to-moose ratios, and vegetation conditions,” according to the Associated Press.

 

4 Comments

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matthew s. - posted 1 month ago on 10-12-2018 01:01:07 am
goHUNT INSIDER

why not just authorize a hunt and have a quota for the number of moose to keep the population in check? You win by raising money through licenses and hunters get meat, this isn't rocket science.

Mark A. - posted 2 months ago on 10-06-2018 04:59:04 pm
Lake Villa IL
goHUNT INSIDER

At least they told the people this time. When people started showing pictures of wolves in the UP of Michigan with radio collars in the 90's they finally admitted to the reintroduction. Such as nice political word. Sounds harmless. It destroyed the deer hunting. I hope those wolves kill every last moose on that left wing sanctuary. Have a nice day.

Tyler K. - posted 2 months ago on 10-04-2018 10:54:42 am
Iron, Mn
goHUNT INSIDER

I’ve been out to the island quite a few times, it’s very evident that the moose are eating themselves out of house and home. The over grazing of shrubs and trees is the most extreme I’ve ever seen in my life. There are other routes that I would have liked to see taken instead of dropping off wolves onto the island like relocating Moose to Minnesota or a special hunt out there, But something needed to be done to reduce the population. I also feel kinda bad for the wolves that got kidnapped from Minnesota and dropped off in a foreign land.

Gary H. - posted 2 months ago on 10-04-2018 09:01:31 am
goHUNT INSIDER

I'm sure the people of Michigan are thrilled about this news.