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Wolves make their way to Michipicoten

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 2:51 pm
by johnhens
Roughly 300 kilometers across the lake from Isle Royale, in Canada, a trio of wolves might have found the Goldilocks option in the forests of 184-square-kilometer Michipicoten Island Provincial Park. Three mainland wolves colonized the island via ice a year and half ago, left briefly this past winter, but then returned and probably have bred.

The island’s appeal is obvious. Based on aerial surveys in February, Patterson estimates it holds 250 to 300 “predator-naive” woodland caribou, which are smaller than moose but bigger than deer. Working for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Patterson and his colleagues radio-collared all three Michipicoten wolves in February and are preparing for a potential Isle Royale redux. Patterson intends to describe the plans next week at the Midwest Wolf Stewards meeting in Ashland, Wisconsin. As on Isle Royale, where the carnivores kept the moose population in check and so helped preserve the vegetation, “the wolves are expected to have a profound impact,” Patterson said.