Press Release Dec 16, 2016

Introduction of Wolves is Right Move for Isle Royale

Park Service proposes to bring more wolves to the park to save population

BACKGROUND: Isle Royale National Park is a remote island in Lake Superior where only two wolves remain, the lowest population in more than 50 years. Scientists believe a natural recovery in the population is highly unlikely.

Today the National Park Service released for public comment an environmental analysis of four options to address the loss of the park’s wolf population on the island ecosystem. The Park Service indicated that the preferred management option is to immediately introduce 20-30 wolves to the park over a three-year period.

The comment period is open through March 15, 2017.

Statement by Christine Goepfert, Senior Program Manager, Midwest Region

“National Parks Conservation Association supports the National Park Service analysis that bringing new wolves to the park will ensure a sustainable population and help balance the delicate ecosystem at Isle Royale National Park. Wolves play a critical role as the top predator on the island, and their dwindling numbers have resulted in a rising moose population. In the absence of a predator, the moose population will continue to grow, which could devastate the island native vegetation, eliminating their food source as well as that of other species on the island. Through this analysis, the Park Service clearly illustrates the critical role wolves play in the park’s ecosystem.

“The Park Service environmental analysis reflects a thorough and thoughtful review based on input from scientific, issue experts from universities and institutions around the country. We commend the Park Service for their approach on this complex wildlife issue facing one of America’s most treasured places.”


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