Home for Wolves
Posted: March 22, 2019
Workers in Canada and the United States get ready. They have wolves to move!
Right now, the wolves live on Michipicoten Island on Lake Superior. The team will move them to Isle Royale National Park in Michigan.
For many years, hundreds of caribou lived on Michipicoten Island. But now ice bridges have formed. That means wolves can cross over from the mainland to have a caribou feast! The wolves gobbled up the caribou herd. But they’re still hungry . . . and even starving!
Workers airlifted some of the last surviving caribou to another island last year. But before long, the wolves were the ones in trouble. They had only small mammals such as snowshoe hare left to eat.
The wolves from Michipicoten Island are great hunters. That makes them prime candidates for Isle Royale. People have been trying to build a wolf population there. Why? Because the park is overrun with moose! They need wolves to keep moose numbers under control. Top predators like wolves are important for any ecosystem. If moose are left alone in the park, they will probably eat all the island’s vegetation.
Isle Royale now has eight wolves. People think around six wolves still live on Michipicoten. A crew of pilots, biologists, and others will try to capture at least some. They will fly them to Isle Royale as soon as possible.
Crew members will trap the wolves with net guns fired from helicopters. The wolves will be examined by veterinarians. Those healthy enough for movement will be taken to their new home. They’ll have plenty to eat there. People think Isle Royale has more than 1,500 moose!
A white wolf is released onto Isle Royale National Park in Michigan on February 28. (Daniel Conjanu/The National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation via AP)