Wolves Are Doing Well On Michigan’s Isle Royal, Moose Are Another Story
The wolf population on Michigan's Isle Royale is on the rise but the moose population is going in the wrong direction, but why?
Isle Royale National Park
Michigan's Isle Royale National Park is located in the northwest corner of Lake Superior and about 15 miles from the shore of Canada. The park is 45 miles long and 9 miles wide covering nearly 207 square miles making it the fourth-largest lake island in the world.
Isle Royale is the only known place where wolves and moose coexist without the presence of bears.
Wolf Population is Up on Isle Royale
The population of wolves has changed over the years. There were as many as 50 wolves in 1980 but in 2017 the island was down to just one female. So in 2018, 19 wolves were relocated to Isle Royale in hopes of regenerating their population.
There are now 31 wolves living on the island showing the packs are thriving again in the right direction. Normally when moose populations rise the wolf population does also but this is not the case right now.
Moose Population is Down on Isle Royale
On average, there are around 25 wolves and 1000 moose that live on the island. That number has changed drastically for both animals in both directions over the last 70-plus years.
According to FOX 17, in 2019 the moose population was around 2,000 but as of 2023, there are roughly only 967. Some of this is due to wolves eating the calves before they have a chance at adulthood but the other is malnutrition of adult moose.
Even though there has been a declining population of moose on the island right now the number of wolves per number of moose is right around where it should be. Hopefully, the balance between the two animals stays consistent in order to maintain the predator-prey relationship.