Annual Isle Royale report divulges drama on wolves

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Annual Isle Royale report divulges drama on wolves

Post by Koa » Thu May 16, 2019 5:16 pm

'Unknown' wolf visitors, rebuffed incest, hungry moose highlight new Isle Royale report
By Tanda Gmiter, May 2, 2019
MLIVE.COM


ISLE ROYALE, MI - The annual report on Michigan's Isle Royale wolf and moose populations has been released. And unlike recent years where island-watchers were just waiting to see if the remote island's last two wolves had survived another year while the number of moose steadily ticked upward, this year's report has a little drama tucked inside its pages.

There are new wolves to track, intense territorial patrolling by the two old island-born wolves, some bared-teeth rebuffing of incestuous courtship, and even some "unknown" wolf tracks that likely show a group of mainland wolves visited the island for a few days this winter and sampled some moose kill leftovers.

So grab your popcorn and we'll take you through some of the report's best highlights.

It's compiled each year by researchers at Michigan Technological University. This winter, they spent four weeks tracking moose and wolves using planes and skis. Now in its 61st year, it is the world's longest-running study of a predator-prey relationship.
Read the full article (with graphs and maps!) here: https://expo.mlive.com/news/g66l-2019/0 ... port-.html
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Re: Annual Isle Royale report divulges drama on wolves

Post by DaniBeez » Thu May 16, 2019 10:37 pm

Fascinating stuff!

The longtime pair look strikingly alike. Interesting that the female consistently rebukes the males advances in recent times. I wonder if it is related to their deformed pup that died; I'm not sure if wolves can make that sort of inference. Something has changed since then anyhow, to elicit the strong rejection behaviour.

In the link is another linke that contains the maps from all four new Minnesota wolves that spent time on the island, including the male who died. Very neat so see each wolf eking out their own spaces!

It is too bad the mainland visitors missed the breeding window. The island needs some diversity!

EDIT: I have fallen off the updates, as I didn't know new wolves were added from the Canadian Island of Michiopictan in Feb, which has its own interesting story (lack of caribou prey). Also very cool that the Canadian wolves paired off with the Minnesota wolves, and not within their own groups (or with the Royales):
The tracking collars show at least two cases of new male wolves that were captured on Canada’s Ontario mainland and Michipicoten Island spending time with new female wolves brought over from Minnesota. Just consider it a little friendly, international relations.
These mate choices just so happen to have the best chances at creating healthy pups with diverse genetics. Wolves can't know this is the outcome of their choices, but it is so fascinating how mate selection has evolved to create this outcome!
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