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Wolf introduction to begin at Isle Royale by fall 2018

Jun 07, 2018 12:56PM ● Published by Editor

Story by Joe Friedrichs of WTIP Radio - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 12:48 pm

The federal government announced in March that Isle Royale's decimated wolf population will get an infusion of new wolves over the next three years in an attempt to control the abundance of moose currently on the island.

The National Park Service confirmed the plans today and shared details about where the wolves will come and when the reintroduction will take place.

Mark Romanski is the Isle Royale National Park chief of natural resources. He says the wolves will come from a variety of locations across the upper Midwest and Canada. Capture and relocation efforts will take place starting this fall. The idea is to introduce an equal number of male and female wolves, and those will be captured on the mainland and transported by air or boat to the island.

Romanski says park officials and others involved with the process hope the wolves will form packs that will help keep the island's abundant moose in check, preventing them from overeating vegetation and harming the ecosystem. Currently, there are just two known wolves residing on Isle Royale, and about 1,500 moose. The idea for a balanced ecosystem would have more wolves and fewer moose.

WTIP participated in the news conference Thursday. We asked what level of discussion or input the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa had in the decision to bring more wolves to Isle Royale. Green says there was some discussion, and hesitancy to support the project from the band.

When asked if wolves that will be transported to Isle Royale could come from the Grand Portage Reservation, Green says that is an option.

To hear the full WTIP report from Thursday’s press conference, follow the link below to hear it on WTIP's site: 

http://wtip.org/wolf-introduction-begin-isle-royale-fall-2018

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