Article: Bringing more wolves to Isle Royale

Discuss wolf conservation and status.

Moderators: Isela, Koa

Post Reply
User avatar
roguemoon
Yearling
Yearling
Posts: 421
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:40 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Canada

Article: Bringing more wolves to Isle Royale

Post by roguemoon » Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:02 pm

National Park Service considers bringing more wolves to Isle Royale
The National Park Service is taking a closer look at whether or not to bring more grey wolves to Isle Royale National Park. Only two wolves remain on the island now.

To help make its decision, the park service wants to hear from you. It’s accepting public comments on the question right now.

At one point, there were as many as 50 wolves on Isle Royale. But Phyllis Green, Superintendent of the Isle Royale National Park, says that number was abnormal.

“Fifty was a very unusually high number — probably one of the highest concentrations of wolves ever found per acre,” Green says.

The island kept the animals from dispersing, and that causes problems for wolves.

“Islands are pretty hard on any species,” she says. “You kind of have to adapt and survive or leave.”

She says oftentimes a species will disappear from an island completely. That’s a risk for wolves on Isle Royale.

The proposed courses of action

The National Park Service plans to assess four different courses of action to help the wolf population.

The first option is no action — to let nature take its course. Green says that’s typically what the park service opts for.

But that could be risky.

Green says “very low, intermittent introduction of wolves naturally” caused wolves to inbreed. That’s likely what made it hard for the animals to sustain their population.

For that reason, the park service is considering bringing animals in to reestablish the population.

Alternative B does just that. It brings a new group of wolves to the island during a one-time period, which could take a couple years.

“And the question is, could you improve upon the start-up point?” Green says. “Is there a way to introduce a certain number of wolves over a short time period that have enough genetic diversity that they could carry themselves through the next cycle on Isle Royale?”

The third option, Alternative C, would bring wolves onto the island as often as needed throughout the next 20 years at least.

“So under that scenario you’ll do some type of a start-up population, or intermixing with the current population — provided they’re still there — and you would add wolves at a certain interval,” Green says. “But that’s still very problematic, because wolves don’t exactly greet each other with open arms as often as with bared fangs.”

With that in mind, Green says this plan would require “a pretty good backup strategy.”

The final alternative is a bit of a hybrid — the park service would take no action right now. But it could decide to introduce wolves later.

“It’s going to be a little more complicated than the other two alternatives, because it’s going to try to be more adaptive and really evaluating what’s going on in the park and then adjusting the course forward from there,” Green says.

Now the plan is to evaluate the options.

“I think it’s a real positive in our society that we’re taking a look at how we help the natural world stay intact,” Green says. “But the natural world also has its own boundaries and processes and I think we need to be respectful of that as we think about whether we should tinker in those processes.”

The public is invited to read the park service’s revised scope of the environmental impact statement and to comment.

These comments will be added to ones the service has already received from people in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and 19 other countries.
Full article: http://michiganradio.org/post/national- ... e#stream/0

There's a link in the full article where you can actually comment on the proposal ^^
"No matter where they are, the restless imagine being somewhere else."
Avatar credit to Lupinz

User avatar
Koa
WolfQuest Moderator
WolfQuest Moderator
Posts: 12935
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:53 pm
Gender: Female
Contact:

Re: Article: Bringing more wolves to Isle Royale

Post by Koa » Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:00 pm

Moved to Wolf Conservation.

Bringing in new wolves to help the remaining, sickly wolves is a bad idea and a waste of time. Let the current wolves die, and then, if they feel that they absolutely must bring in new wolves, bring in new wolves then.
YOU SAY YOU WANT TO GET BETTER AND YOU DON'T KNOW HOW.

User avatar
Flamesky
Hunter-in-training
Hunter-in-training
Posts: 198
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:40 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Virginia

Re: Article: Bringing more wolves to Isle Royale

Post by Flamesky » Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:05 pm

Koa wrote:Moved to Wolf Conservation.

Bringing in new wolves to help the remaining, sickly wolves is a bad idea and a waste of time. Let the current wolves die, and then, if they feel that they absolutely must bring in new wolves, bring in new wolves then.
Why do you think the wolves are unnecessary there? The moose are not being hunted at Isle Royale. Without a healthy population of wolves in Isle Royale, there are no predators or human hunters to keep their population in check.

EDIT:
What would you propose as a solution to keep the numbers of moose and vegetation at a healthy level, if you don't think reintroducing wolves is a good idea? Over-browsing and moose die-offs may be a possible consequence if there are no natural predators left on the island.
<<<<<>>>>>
Come death, come suffering
I will not live in fear

In this fleeting life where time escapes us
The path of least resistance is a slow quiet death
I'd rather burn out than fade away
- KSE
<<<<<>>>>>

User avatar
Koa
WolfQuest Moderator
WolfQuest Moderator
Posts: 12935
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:53 pm
Gender: Female
Contact:

Re: Article: Bringing more wolves to Isle Royale

Post by Koa » Mon Nov 21, 2016 4:36 pm

Flamesky wrote:
Koa wrote:Moved to Wolf Conservation.

Bringing in new wolves to help the remaining, sickly wolves is a bad idea and a waste of time. Let the current wolves die, and then, if they feel that they absolutely must bring in new wolves, bring in new wolves then.
Why do you think the wolves are unnecessary there? The moose are not being hunted at Isle Royale. Without a healthy population of wolves in Isle Royale, there are no predators or human hunters to keep their population in check.

EDIT:
What would you propose as a solution to keep the numbers of moose and vegetation at a healthy level, if you don't think reintroducing wolves is a good idea? Over-browsing and moose die-offs may be a possible consequence if there are no natural predators left on the island.
Both wolves and moose are non-native species to Isle Royale. As far as I'm concerned, there's no need to invest money maintaining either non-native population. The wolves will die if they haven't already, and the moose will just overpopulate and starve themselves. (If needed, I'm sure hunters could come in, but again, bringing in more wolves won't solve anything; they were never there first. Who's to say they won't become inbred again? It seems like a waste to me.)
YOU SAY YOU WANT TO GET BETTER AND YOU DON'T KNOW HOW.

User avatar
Flamesky
Hunter-in-training
Hunter-in-training
Posts: 198
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:40 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Virginia

Re: Article: Bringing more wolves to Isle Royale

Post by Flamesky » Mon Nov 21, 2016 4:50 pm

Koa, I respect your opinion on this issue, but in my opinion, intentionally leaving an ungulate population to overpopulate and starve is not the best solution. It seems almost wasteful. If there's a method that would help both species and the ecosystem, I think it should be at least considered.
<<<<<>>>>>
Come death, come suffering
I will not live in fear

In this fleeting life where time escapes us
The path of least resistance is a slow quiet death
I'd rather burn out than fade away
- KSE
<<<<<>>>>>

User avatar
Koa
WolfQuest Moderator
WolfQuest Moderator
Posts: 12935
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:53 pm
Gender: Female
Contact:

Re: Article: Bringing more wolves to Isle Royale

Post by Koa » Mon Nov 21, 2016 4:59 pm

Flamesky wrote:Koa, I respect your opinion on this issue, but in my opinion, intentionally leaving an ungulate population to overpopulate and starve is not the best solution. It seems almost wasteful. If there's a method that would help both species and the ecosystem, I think it should be considered.
I'm curious-- how is it "wasteful" and "intentional" if these animals are non-native? It's more or less letting nature be. It's wasteful to waste time, resources, and money on animals that got themselves there on their own. Sure, the maintained presence of Isle Royale's moose and wolves could be useful for scientific studies, but it's not like studies existing on the dynamics of Isle Royale are lacking.

Wolves actually were the reason for the coyotes dying out on the island (which were there before them), so they (and the moose) seem to be the problem, really. I don't see anyone arguing for the reintroduction of coyotes on Isle Royale, and yet everyone's so concerned about the wolves that went to the island on their own terms and are now inbred on the verge of extinction.
YOU SAY YOU WANT TO GET BETTER AND YOU DON'T KNOW HOW.

User avatar
valkea
Former User of the Month
Former User of the Month
Posts: 3488
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:58 am
Name: Rowan
Gender: Male
Location: southern icefields

Re: Article: Bringing more wolves to Isle Royale

Post by valkea » Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:08 pm

I have to say I'd agree with Koa on this. While I don't like the idea of letting the two populations die off from a personal standpoint, it does seem to be nature's intended course here since it doesn't sound like Isle Royale is able to sufficiently support them. If an environment is unable to support a species, then I see that as a pretty clear sign that that species shouldn't be there and that efforts to force the species to survive healthily there would, most likely, ultimately be in vain.
má shínim seal uaire faoi chrann a dhéanamh só
o cad é sin don te sin nach mbaineann sin dó?

_____________________

avatar - lupinzpack

User avatar
Koa
WolfQuest Moderator
WolfQuest Moderator
Posts: 12935
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:53 pm
Gender: Female
Contact:

Re: Article: Bringing more wolves to Isle Royale

Post by Koa » Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:14 pm

Fun fact: Even longer than coyotes, caribou and lynx were residents of the island. (So "coyote" in my last post wasn't the best example to use regarding restoration.) But no one wants to restore them, of course.
Here's a very helpful mammal information sheet of IR that the National Park Service uploaded.
YOU SAY YOU WANT TO GET BETTER AND YOU DON'T KNOW HOW.

User avatar
Flamesky
Hunter-in-training
Hunter-in-training
Posts: 198
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:40 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Virginia

Re: Article: Bringing more wolves to Isle Royale

Post by Flamesky » Mon Nov 21, 2016 8:16 pm

I'm aware of the history of wildlife on Isle Royale and how population dynamics work. I don't think there is any clear-cut obvious choice on what should be done or not done. There are advantages and disadvantages to stepping into the situation, and also advantages in allowing nature to take its course. It will be interesting to see what they decide.
<<<<<>>>>>
Come death, come suffering
I will not live in fear

In this fleeting life where time escapes us
The path of least resistance is a slow quiet death
I'd rather burn out than fade away
- KSE
<<<<<>>>>>

User avatar
La Striata
Yearling
Yearling
Posts: 352
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:01 pm
Location: Wadi-Abu-Diba

Re: Article: Bringing more wolves to Isle Royale

Post by La Striata » Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:21 pm

Considering the wolves of Isle Royale are such recent arrivals, and have barely had enough time to develop into a unique subspecies, I say let them and their moose die off, then reintroduce the animals that nature intended to be there (the coyotes and lynx which Koa mentioned). Wolves have plenty of other areas they need to recolonize anyway, and Isle Royale isn't one of them.
I cannot see that wolves are in any way nobler in character than hyenas- Frederick Selous

Post Reply

Return to “Wolf Conservation”