Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Special Message from Rolf Peterson re: the Wolves of Isle Royale


We have a little news from the island.  We were not able to document wolf reproduction on Isle Royale in 2014, and if that proves to be true then there has been no reproductive success during three of the past four years.  Expected time to extinction for this population will depend largely on whether or not there is wolf reproduction in the future, which cannot be accurately predicted.  The next update will be provided by the winter study, due to begin in mid-January 2015. 

On 9 April, 2014, the National Park Service announced in a press release that “the park will respond to Isle Royale’s currently low wolf population through a comprehensive planning process that considers management of wolves, moose, and vegetation on the island…The park will develop a management plan addressing the many complex factors that affect persistence of Isle Royale wolves and their role in the island ecosystem, including relationships with moose (their preferred prey), the condition of island vegetation, and the effects of ongoing climate change.”

As I understand the process, public input on management options regarding the wolves in Isle Royale National Park is still being received and encouraged.  Please send your input to the following email address:

ISRO_Wildlife@nps.gov (note the “underscore” between ISRO and Wildlife)

The Park Service is considering three options:
--Do nothing even if wolves go extinct,
--Restore wolves after extinction, if that occurs.
--Conserve the present population through genetic rescue (release some wolves from the mainland to mitigate inbreeding)

While expressing your view, consider providing as much detail as possible on the reasons for your preference, as the Park Service believes the reasons for your view are important.  If you have any questions on the process or anything relating to providing input, please do not hesitate to ask me.  Also, if you want to know what else you might do, let me know.

Thank you for considering the future of this national park!
Rolf Peterson 
Michigan Technological University

P.S. you can stay connected with the wolf-moose project by checking the Facebook page  “Wolves and Moose of Isle Royale”

(source: email)