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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Isle Royale, Michigan, the site of the longest running Wolf/Moose research Study in North America will get a "vitamin injection" of Wolves transplanted onto the island over the next three years.......With only two remaining in-bred Wolves remaining on the island and the Moose population ballooned up to 2000 animals, the floral composition of the island will become badly degraded without an effective top-down predator fulfilling its ecological services functions--In this case, Wolves eating Moose

Isle Royale to get dozens of wolves over 3-year span

Wolf pack on Isle Royale - photo by John Vucetich
Wolf pack on Isle Royale - photo by John Vucetich

The federal government announced March 16 that Isle Royale's decimated wolf population will get an infusion of 20 to 30 new wolves over the next three years.
The National Park Service published the plan in the Federal Register.
As of January, there were only two wolves remaining on the island as the wolf population has been slowly declining due to inbreeding and genetic deformities.

The 45-mile-long, 143,000-acre island is located about 15 miles off Minnesota's North Shore.
Federal wildlife officials estimate there are approximately 2,000 or more moose now on the island. Without more wolves, scientists say, the moose will continue to increase and cause environmental damage across the island and will begin to starve to death.

The Duluth News Tribune reports the Humane Society of the U.S. was among the first to weigh-in Friday supporting the Park Service decision.
“With the loss of Isle Royale’s ice bridges due to climate change, wolves could not reach the island.  This spelled disaster not only for the park’s environmental health, but doomed its overabundant moose population to slow, cruel starvation,” said Nicole Paquette, vice president of wildlife at The Humane Society of the United States.

The Detroit Free Press reports that overall, the plan attracted nearly 5,000 comments, with some arguing that it sets a dangerous precedent that may violate the federal Wilderness Act’s requirement that lands remain “untrammeled” by human intervention. One well-known group, Wilderness Watch, called on the Park Service to not intervene, saying that “is the only alternative that respects the wolves autonomy and lets them decide whether or not they inhabit Isle Royale.”

“Perhaps the wolves intuitively know of the genetic downsides to island isolation,” the group wrote.
In the draft environmental study, the Park Service says it will look to capture Great Lakes wolves that are known to feed on moose as one of their prey sources, are in good health with no apparent injuries and have the appropriate genetic diversity to sustain a viable population on the island.
Capture and relocation efforts would take place between late fall and late winter. Relocated wolves will be fitted with radio or GPS collars so they can be tracked.

Click here for a direct link to the Isle Royale plan from the National Park Service.

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