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Wolves and the Isle Royale Environment: Restoring an Island Ecosystem

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The National Park Service made a determination to augment the number of gray wolves (Canis lupus) on Isle Royale National Park to restore this apex carnivore and predator-prey relations. This report summarizes project results from September 2018 to April 2020. Nineteen wolves captured in Michigan, Minnesota, and Ontario during September 2018–2019 were translocated to Isle Royale. We estimated 14 wolves present on Isle Royale on 14 April 2020. Eight wolves died with the most common cause of mortality intraspecific aggression.

GPS location data suggested female wolf 014F denned in spring 2019 and established several rendezvous sites. Images from a remote camera in September 2019 support at least two pups were reared. Location data from GPS collars also demonstrated denning activity for wolf 001F in early April 2020. Genetic analysis of scat samples will provide additional support for reproduction of these wolves. Limited data suggested potential for denning activity for wolves 012M and 015F during spring 2020; however, collar failure precluded confirmation… [read PDF for full document]

Document: NPS-SUNY-Isle-Royale-Wolf-Summary-Report-2018-2020.pdf  PDF icon

Author(s): Mark C. Romanski, Elizabeth K. Orning, Kenneth F. Kellner, Dean E. Beyer Jr., Kristin E. Brzeski, John Hart, Donald H. Lonsway Jr., Ashley A.D. McLaren, Seth A. Moore, Brent R. Patterson, Lynette R. Potvin, Michelle L. Verant, Tiffany M. Wolf, and Jerrold L. Belant

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