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The Importance of Wolves in Isle Royale with Dr. Rolf O. Peterson

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Isle Royale is a remote wilderness island in Lake Superior and home to populations of wolves and moose that are known worldwide. These animals are the focus of the longest-running study of a predator-prey system in the wild, and Dr. Rolf Peterson, an internationally recognized wildlife ecologist at Michigan Technical University, has been at the helm of the project for over four decades.

Isolated by the frigid waters of Lake Superior, the Isle accommodates wolves and moose in a forest where none of them are exploited by humans, where there is no hunting, no persecution, no logging. Before the National Park Service began its wolf relocation project last fall, this ecologically rare setting was at risk of vanishing along with the last two wolves remaining on the island.

As of April 2019, thirteen wolves have been relocated to Isle Royale from the mainland of US and Canada. The wolf relocation project is a part of a planned "genetic rescue" of Isle Royale’s dwindling wolf population – an effort to keep the species going and allow the unique ecological study that began 60 years ago to continue.

On April 24, 2019, the Wolf Conservation Center offered a free webinar, "The Importance of Wolves in Isle Royale," with Dr. Rolf O. Peterson.

About The Speaker:

Dr. Rolf Peterson, an internationally recognized wildlife ecologist at Michigan Technical University, began leading the Isle Royale wolf-moose study in the early 1970s and has continued his primary role in the project for over four decades of the study's sixty-year history. In 2006, Dr. Peterson retired from a faculty position at Michigan Technological University to devote even more time to the wolf-moose project and now spends more time on Isle Royale than on the mainland. In addition to wolf research at Isle Royale, he and his students have conducted wolf studies in Alaska, Yellowstone, Minnesota, and mainland Michigan.

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