Press Release May 17, 2018

Annual Study Supports Plan to Bring More Wolves to Isle Royale National Park

The decline of the natural wolf population at Isle Royale National Park has been the subject of the longest running predator-prey study in the world.

BACKGROUND: The decline of the natural wolf population at Isle Royale is well documented and has been the subject of the longest running predator-prey study in the world. Today lead researchers from Michigan Technological University released their annual winter study, confirming just two wolves remain at the island park. Without wolves, the island’s moose population will grow quickly taxing the park’s natural health, threatening the long-term survival of moose and wolves. The National Park Service completed an extensive environmental analysis and consulted subject-matter experts to determine the best approach to address the imbalance between the park’s growing moose and dwindling wolf population. To support a balanced and sustainable landscape, the plan calls for the introduction of 20-30 wolves over a three-year period.

Statement by Christine Goepfert, Senior Program Manager for National Parks Conservation Association

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“The winter study confirms what we’ve known for several years – just two wolves remain with little to no chance for natural recovery. Without action, the moose population will rise very quickly and further devastate native plants and trees. Bringing more wolves to Isle Royale will help restore balance and improve the overall health of the park.

“For 60 years, the Michigan Tech study has helped us understand the predator-prey dynamics at Isle Royale and the study has informed wildlife management for national parks across the country.

“We support the National Park Service plan to introduce 20-30 new wolves. And we look forward to once again hearing the unmistakable howls of wolves at Isle Royale National Park.”


About National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit

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