Wolf Pups Spotted Again on Isle Royale!
For the first time in 63 years, researchers were unable to work on Lake Superior’s Isle Royale to study the island’s moose and wolf populations. COVID-19 restrictions halted the in-person wintertime survey, so Michigan Tech researchers didn’t have the benefit of aerial observations that have traditionally been done during winter when the animals are easier to spot. But with researchers back on remote island since the spring, the longest-running predator-prey study was able to resume and uncover new details about Isle Royale’s iconic species.
Trail camera footage and other signs revealed that two or possibly even three wolf litters were born – a promising sign in the effort to reboot the island’s wolf population.
Between 2018 – 2019, the National Park Service relocated 19 wild wolves to Isle Royale National Park as a part of a planned “genetic rescue” to rebuild the wolf population, which had fallen to two, and restore the predator-prey balance on the island between wolves and moose.
To learn more, the 2020-2021 Ecological Studies of Wolves on Isle Royale is available for download here.