Plans to increase wolf population on Isle Royale in the works

02831756cbc09f4adc6f294c04f8ac79With the wolf population on Isle Royale down to just two wolves, the National Park Service is considering ideas to bring it back up.

The wolf population on the island has been on the decline for several years.

Due to the small wolf presence, the moose population there has been increasing by a few hundred each of the last several years.

Chris Amidon is a Supervisory Park Ranger for Isle Royale National Park.

“We just got our 2017 moose estimate of the moose on the island, and it’s sitting at about 1700. Previous year was about 1300 or so, and before that about 1200 so it’s increasing which is not unexpected with the absence of the wolves.”

Amidon said plans are being discussed to put another 20 to 30 wolves on the island.

“The immediate detrimental impact to the rise of moose is to the overbrowsing of their primary winter food source which is the balsam fir, and in some areas of the island where it’s not as prevalent they’re seeing a significant reduction in its availability which affects the overall ecology of the island.”

Amidon said a public comment period ended in March where people sent in their thoughts on ideas to fix the population problem.

He said the park is going through the comments now.