moose

Michigan Tech University

The National Park Service is one step closer to reintroducing wolves to Isle Royale National Park. The park in Lake Superior would get 20 to 30 new wolves in the next three years.

Isle Royale once had around 50 wolves. But Park Superintendent Phyllis Green says fewer new wolves have made it to the island in recent years because Lake Superior is freezing over less. She attributes that to the warming climate. As a result, there’s been inbreeding and disease in the wolf population.

Before Europeans arrived in Michigan, “moose were pretty much all over” the state, said Rachel Clark of the Michigan History Center.

After that arrival, the moose population declined as settlers began over-hunting the animal and damaging its habitat.

This year’s Winter Study of the wolves and moose of Isle Royale found that there are still just two wolves hanging out on the island.

The Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Project has been tracking the rare ecosystem on Isle Royale for almost 60 years. What makes Isle Royale rare is that the island, located in Lake Superior roughly 50 miles from the Upper Peninsula, has just two main animals inhabiting it. The food chain is simple: The wolves are the predators and the moose are the prey.

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Recently, the tracking of the wolves and moose on Isle Royale led to an unlikely musical creation. 

A case of moose poaching in the Upper Peninsula has turned out to be a hoax.

The head of a freshly killed moose was left on a rock beside a road near Ishpeming last October. Next to the moose head was a sign that said "wolfs won't get this one".

State conservation officers investigated a possible illegal killing of the moose, but they found a hunter had legally taken it in Canada. He kept the antlers and meat and left the carcass, including the head, with a butcher in Negaunee.