Why 4 wolves were brought to Isle Royale National Park from Canada
Mar 08, 2019
Four Canadian wolves were recently transported by helicopter to Isle Royale National Park, according to Pacific Standard magazine.
- A helicopter dropped the wolves off from their home in Ontario to the national park, which covers an 894-square-mile island in the Great Lakes regions.
- Scientists with the Wolves and Moose of Isle Royale project have dropped the wolves there for two reasons: to hunt a growing moose population and raise the dwindling wolf population in the region.
- Ice bridges between the Isle Royale and the mainland have existed for years. However, the ice bridges have become less common, which has stalled wolves from migrating to the national park.
- The National Park Service now wants to bring 20 to 30 wolves into the park within the next five years, The Guardian reports.
John Vucetich, an ecologist from Michigan Technological University who leads the Wolves and Moose of Isle Royale project, told Pacific Standard that the new environment will be weird for wolves.
- “They live in families, so imagine what happens to a dog when they’re plunked into a foreign place,” he says, adding that for the most part, the new wolves didn’t know each other prior to their release in Isle Royale. “They are being introduced to each other. It’s tense and nervous — and it’s tough to find food in a new place. It’s stressful.”
Fox News reports that helicopter crews fired used net guns to capture the wolves. The wolves were given sedation and examined by veterinarians.
- “I am … blown away by the resilience of these wolves, who within hours after undergoing capture and handling and arriving on Isle Royale, immediately got on the trail of their pack mates,” Mark Romanski, the park’s natural resources division chief, told Fox News.
However: A gray wolf was moved from Minnesota to the national park last month, according to The Star Tribune. It wandered back to the mainland, though.