Four More Wolves Moved To Isle Royale, One Dies Shortly Thereafter – National Parks Traveler

Posted: September 23, 2019 at 8:45 am

Four wolves were released at Isle Royale National Park in September/NPS, Phyllis Green

Four wolves were moved to Isle Royale National Park in September to bolster the island's predator population, but one died shortly thereafter.

The wolves were moved to the park on September 13 fromMichigans Upper Peninsula. One of the wolve's collars issued a mortality signal last weekend, and biologists located the animal's carcass on Tuesday. The body was to be sent to the USGS National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin, for necropsy.

The surviving wolves included two males and a female. Theybolstered the island wolf population to 17, which now includes nine males and eight females.

Capture, anesthesia, and translocation are stressful events for wolves and the impact of that stress on each individual wolf is unknown, Isle Royale Park Superintendent Phyllis Green said of the dead wolf. There is a field examination, however, underlying health conditions of wolves prior to their capture are difficult to determine. The analysis of the samples collected during the examination and the necropsy may reveal more information about the cause of death, which will inform future transfers.

The National Park Service worked closely with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Department of Agriculture APHIS Wildlife Services (APHIS Wildlife Services), and the State University of New York-College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry on the project.

Three of the four wolves released at Isle Royale National Park in September survived/NPS, Phyllis Green

From September 5 13, seven wolves were captured; three of those not meeting translocation criteria were immediately released. The four adults were examined, documented, tagged, and fitted with tracking collars before being flown to the park on a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service airplane.

Adding genetics from Michigan wolves was a key piece of the puzzle to provide the best opportunity for genetic diversity that supports the sustainability of the introduced population. The Michigan DNR, APHIS - Wildlife Services, and SUNY-ESF did an outstanding job, given the weather, Green said. Our focus now will be on broad population goals and the opportunity these Michigan wolves represent. We will continue to learn what we can and track how the wolves integrate into the island landscape.

The three to five year effort to establish 20-30 wolves on Isle Royale is being completed in order to restore predation as a key part of the island ecosystem. Researchers involved in the planning effort recommended this number of wolves from the Great Lakes region. Additionally, they recommended an equal number of males and females in order to establish genetic variability in the new population. The NPS and its partners will monitor the wolf population to determine evidence of social organization, reproduction and predation.

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Four More Wolves Moved To Isle Royale, One Dies Shortly Thereafter - National Parks Traveler

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