National Park Service examines impact of importing wolves to Isle Royale

Dec 16, 2016

The National Park Service is considering bringing more wolves to Isle Royale to save the declining population on Michigan's only national park.

The new report details the expected environmental impact of several plans that could bring more wolves to the island.

The last winter study on the island's wolf population estimates only two wolves remain.

The Park Service’s report lists a “preferred alternative” of importing 20 to 30 wolves to the island, along with three other alternative management plans.

But there’s no consensus among researchers who study the predator and prey relationship of wolves and moose on the island.

“Generally, there’s not agreement among scientists what they think the best path forward is,” said Liz Valencia, chief of interpretation and cultural resources at Isle Royale National Park.

Three other options detailed in the draft report range from doing nothing to preserve the languishing wolf population, to importing several small shipments of wolves over a 20-year period.

Read the report here.

The National Park service is accepting public comment on the draft environmental impact assessment until March.

Valencia expects the Park Service to reach a final decision by fall, 2017.