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Of Wolves and Moose on Isle Royale


Isrowol_copy    I've always been fascinated by wolves. Not sure why, but they just appeal to me. And so long before Yellowstone's wolf recovery program began in 1995 I focused on the wolves of Isle Royale National Park in Michigan.
    I slowly built a small library of books on wolves, including The Wolf by Dave Mech, perhaps North America's most renowned wolf expert. And I collected art by Jim Brandenburg, in my opinion one of the best wildlife/nature photographers out there.
    So I had understandable interest when I ran across a story about the latest involving wolves and their main prey, moose, on Isle Royale. The story, by The Associated Press's John Flesher, details how the park's declining moose population is impacting the park's wolf packs. It's not an encouraging story, but it does offer a look at the delicate balance in the wild kingdom.


Kurt - these would be the same wolves and moose that got quite a bit of publicity recently with the story and photos from a researcher in the park of one of the wolf packs killing one of the moose. ( It circulated on a bunch of blogs and forums, and ultimately got reprinted in the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper. Also, the decline in the moose population (and the directly related decline in the wolf population) was blamed on two factors: a tick infestation and warmer-than-average summers. Which ties in to the recent article you cited about the effect of climate change on the parks and the memo from the Superintendent of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, a Park Service unit not far from Isle Royale... (/2007/03/how_will_parks_.html) Cheers, Greg

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