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Topic: Wolf pups on Isle Royale< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 18 2013, 7:24 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Last year no wolf pups were born on Isle Royale. The wolf population had decresed to 8 wolves after 3 wolves had fallen through the snow into an old mine shaft and perished.
It was thought this might be the end for the wolf population on the Island and steps were being taken to determine the wolf's future on IR.
Wolf pups were heard on 7/3 by the wolf researchers and tracks were seen.

More info from IRKPA:
WOLF PUPS on Isle Royale! Rolf and Candy Peterson heard two to three wolf pups at Siskiwit Bay on July 3 and found pup tracks on the beach the next morning. Despite this good news, concerns remain about the future of Isle Royale's wolf population. Park managers are considering three options: genetic rescue that would bring new wolves to the island to mitigate inbreeding; reintroduction of wolves to the island if they die out entirely; or doing nothing, even if the wolves disappear. You can read the researchers' rationale for supporting one of the first two options at http://www.nytimes.com/2013....ml?_r=0 If you would like to comment on the options or have other wildlife-related comments or questions, direct them to ISRO_Wildlife@nps.gov
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 18 2013, 9:39 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I hope the pups fair well and can bring new life to the pack.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 18 2013, 9:55 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

John is there a link available to a story or web site about the pup sighting?
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 18 2013, 1:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(WisMike @ Jul. 18 2013, 8:55 am)
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John is there a link available to a story or web site about the pup sighting?

This is it at this point.
The NPS is supposed to do a News release.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 19 2013, 12:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the update -- this REALLY made me smile.  I have a thing for puppies and, yeah, I know, wolves aren't dogs but, oh my gosh, WOLF PUPPIES!  Isle Royal wolf concerns aside, this is just so cool.   :)

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 24 2013, 10:39 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Jeez. I did not realize the wolf population had declined so much. Sounds like they  are down to 1 or 2 packs.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 24 2013, 5:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Those who do the annual study are very wonderful and dedicated people -- thank god for people like that, but I guess they missed the fact that there ARE breeding pairs on the island.  Maybe this will prolong the species for a while until Mother Nature can replenish the gene pool naturally.  I was leaning toward introduction of one or two males to the island, but the wait and see position seems to be working right now.  Let's see what happens.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 28 2013, 10:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Bring in the Ladies and a few Lynx too......The Hares are getting outta hand.......
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 16 2013, 3:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

More on the IR pups:

http://www.minnpost.com/earth-j....-danger
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 23 2013, 11:31 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Some very interesting reading can be found on this topic -- makes me wonder and rethink my position, over and over again!  I'm glad there are experts out there who are taking the bull by the horns.

Here's to hoping that the proper solution (whatever that is!) is eventually implemented - or not, in the case of letting nature take its course.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 30 2013, 11:23 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

NPS News release:

Isle Royale Confirms Births of Peregrine Chicks and Wolf Pups
Houghton, MI- Island animal populations are generally small with fewer species than on the surrounding mainland.   Isle Royale’s biodiversity is generally lower because the islands’ isolation has restricted migration of organisms from outside populations. For example, there are approximately 19 species of mammals documented on Isle Royale, far fewer than the number of mammals on the adjacent Michigan and Minnesota mainland. Because of this isolation, births in  some species with small populations are often celebrated.  This summer, Isle Royale National Park had cause for celebration; both the island’s peregrine falcon and wolf populations had new additions.
Last year marked the first time in 57 years that peregrine falcons, a state listed endangered species, nested and successfully fledged young on the island. This year that success was repeated with two chicks reared to fledging on Passage Island. “Last year was quite a shock to find a breeding pair of falcons.  This year we hoped the pair would return and we were very happy to see nesting activity”, said Chief of Natural Resources Paul Brown. Initially there were three chicks in the nest, but over the course of the next few weeks one chick disappeared. The two remaining chicks were successfully reared. With the addition of these two new birds, the island population of peregrine falcons is currently thought to be 5-7 individuals.
Also noteworthy this summer was the birth of at least two wolf pups. For the past several years the wolf population has been slowly declining, to a historic low of 8 animals at the end of winter study in March, 2013. These new animals are welcome additions to the population, bringing the total up to at least ten animals. “It is always exciting when we learns about successful reproduction of wildlife in the park, and the birth of two wolf pups is especially good news”, commented Superintendent Phyllis Green.  “The wolves continue to surprise us with their resiliency.  While we were very happy to learn about the birth of the pups, we are still concerned about the population and are in the process of evaluating options on how to deal with the population in the future.”
--
Liz Valencia
Chief, Interpretation and Cultural Resources
Isle Royale National Park
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 30 2013, 3:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the update.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 31 2013, 9:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Interview with John Vucetich.
http://www.uppermichiganssource.com/news....DjaUTkx
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 31 2013, 10:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As an outdoor enthusiast, one who wants to enjoy nature with my dog and one who loves to see families exploring the wilderness areas, I am a bit flumoxed by the strict attitude that "nature should take it's course" without taking into consideration the fact that humans are a part of nature with one huge advantage - we can intellectualize our impact on the environment and can alter our course of action depending on our perception of what should or should not be done.  We are the wardens of the wilderness and as such, we have a responsibility to maintain the wilderness in a way that we see benefits "nature," whatever that means.  

Prof. Vucetich speaks of human intervention almost as if it's unnatural and wrong.  I defer to his knowledge and expertise, of course, but I'm always a bit concerned when the "experts" tell us, for example, that a particular population decline (wolves on Isle Royale) has been caused or impacted by humnans -- Prof. Vucetich gives his opinion on two such causes, disease (which he simply states was brought to IR by humans but doesn't mention what disease he's talking about (Canine parvovirus) nor how it was introduced to IR (allegedly by dogs brought to the island by humans contrary to park rules), and "global warming," as the professor calls it, which he also attributes to humans.  

The professor fails to mention that the introduction of the one lone wolf that came to IR in the 90s did not rejuvenate as much as expected the population of the wolves.  The professor, in his other writings, covers this and points out that the balance is very complex, and that the decline in the wolf population cannot be attributed to one or two things.  He also makes it very clear that the mere introduction of a new gene pool has not been proven to be the answer.  I applaud his wait-and-see approach.

One way to look at the situation is the wolf population declined due to human causes (Canine parvovirus) and the populatioin cannont be refreshed/rejuvenated because of human factors (global warming = no more ice bridges).  Prof. Vucetich makes a good case, but leaves out one factor -- IR apparently survived for many millenia without wolves, so is it really necessary to have wolves on the island (for "natural" reasons) or is it simply a matter of convenience/feel-goodism to maintain the population on IR?  Who should decide what the future of "nature" or our wilderness is to be?  We, as wardens of the wilderness, can only do our best and must rely on experts like Prof. Vucetich.

Humans are a part of nature, what we do in all our wisdom will undoubtedly have an effect.  We have a responsibility to maintain nature as it once existed on Earth and to eliminate as many negative effects as possible.  If we recognize a problem yet turn a blind eye, we have committed a sin against nature and will burn in Hell for doing so in the form of future generations of humans being deprived of the glory of nature as it should be (or more correctly stated: as we "think" it should be).

The real difficulty is striking a balance, one which allows nature to thrive and humans to thrive as well.  We must never let our emotions overtake our intellect to maintain nature in an unnatural way solely because we feel it is best to do so.  The balance that must be achieved is one that has sacrifices and limitations.  One such sacrifice could very well be the closing of wilderness areas to backpackers and campers due to potential harm that could be caused by the humans to the wilderness area, as well as the potential harm that could come to the humans from trespassing on the lands of predators.

We are quickly coming to a point in our relationship with the wilderness where we need to re-think our own freedoms and learn that we may have to restrict our access to the wilderness.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 31 2013, 4:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(WiscoHiker @ Aug. 31 2013, 9:56 am)
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The professor fails to mention that the introduction of the one lone wolf that came to IR in the 90s did not rejuvenate as much as expected the population of the wolves.  The professor, in his other writings, covers this and points out that the balance is very complex, and that the decline in the wolf population cannot be attributed to one or two things.  He also makes it very clear that the mere introduction of a new gene pool has not been proven to be the answer.  I applaud his wait-and-see approach.

One way to look at the situation is the wolf population declined due to human causes (Canine parvovirus) and the populatioin cannont be refreshed/rejuvenated because of human factors (global warming = no more ice bridges).  Prof. Vucetich makes a good case, but leaves out one factor -- IR apparently survived for many millenia without wolves, so is it really necessary to have wolves on the island (for "natural" reasons) or is it simply a matter of convenience/feel-goodism to maintain the population on IR?  Who should decide what the future of "nature" or our wilderness is to be?  We, as wardens of the wilderness, can only do our best and must rely on experts like Prof. Vucetich.



The real difficulty is striking a balance, one which allows nature to thrive and humans to thrive as well.  We must never let our emotions overtake our intellect to maintain nature in an unnatural way solely because we feel it is best to do so.  The balance that must be achieved is one that has sacrifices and limitations.  One such sacrifice could very well be the closing of wilderness areas to backpackers and campers due to potential harm that could be caused by the humans to the wilderness area, as well as the potential harm that could come to the humans from trespassing on the lands of predators.

We are quickly coming to a point in our relationship with the wilderness where we need to re-think our own freedoms and learn that we may have to restrict our access to the wilderness.

Glad to see that a lot of thought went into the issue. The more folks who take an interest in the outcome of the issue, the better.

I think all of the wolves left carry the DNA of the male that came over in '96. What effect this had I cannot say for sure
other than it gave some much needed boost to the diversity.

Another issue that has been addressed elsewhere is how did the moose get to IR? Years ago there were whitetail deer on IR imported by folks wanting to hunt them. It has been suggested that moose were brought to IR in boats instead of the common belief they swam over. If this is the case, it adds another element to the issue. I know Rolf looked into this and did not come up with anything definitive. I wonder if there aren't folks in MN who may know of this.

Before the wolves made it to IR, the moose were eating themselves out of their habitat. The decrease in browse  , I think,  would have eventually contributed to their demise. One part the wolves play is ensuring a healthy moose population. It has been shown in Yellowstone that the reintroduction of wolves has contributed overall to a more healthy ecosystem.
A study came out recently that the grizzly population in Yellowstone benefitting from the increase in berries due to the decrease in elk.        

If it came down to it, I would be for closing off Wilderness Areas if the flora and fauna there required it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 01 2013, 7:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'll tell you one thing -- and this is hard for me to swallow -- if the demise of the wolves on IR was in any way contributed to or caused by the canine parvovirus then I have to rethink my position on allowing dogs into wilderness areas.  Right now it really angers me that I can't take my hiking partner with me everywhere, but now maybe I can see a reason to leave him home.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 01 2013, 10:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(WiscoHiker @ Sep. 01 2013, 7:13 pm)
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I'll tell you one thing -- and this is hard for me to swallow -- if the demise of the wolves on IR was in any way contributed to or caused by the canine parvovirus then I have to rethink my position on allowing dogs into wilderness areas.

It was.

Vaccinate appropriately and clean all your dog's stuff with bleach+water before a trip if you're interested in reducing risk.  :)
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