First wolves transported to Isle Royale
The first two wolves have been transported to Isle Royale in an attempt to restore the wolf population. The National Park Service has set a goal to relocate four to six wolves to Isle Royale by November. They caught two healthy wolves in Northern Minnesota the first day --a male and a female. The wolves were examined by a veterinarian and were found healthy and in good condition. They were vaccinated and fit with GPS collars before being released in separate locations on the island.
The female left her crate to explore her new territory quickly. The male waited until after dark.
Liz Valencia is with the National Park Service. She says, "We were really excited that we had some initial success. The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the USDA Wildlife Services worked very diligently and were able to trap two wolves that very first day."
These wolves are part of an overall plan to restore the wolve population on the island by transporting up to thirty wolves to it within the next five years. The NPS has set an initial goal to move between four and six wolves by November.
The existing wolf population has dwindled to just two older wolves. Meanwhile, the moose population has exploded, resulting in moose that are smaller in size and unhealthy. Re-establishing a healthy wolf population is expected to restore balance in the ecosystem.
Valencia says the first two had been captured more quickly than anticipated.