Isle Royale Winter Study Celebrates 60 Years
The 2018 report is out: two wolves, almost 1,500 moose and an ecosystem in transition. In its 60th year, the research is the longest-running predator-prey study of its kind.
Researchers from Michigan Tech have released the annual Winter Study report detailing updates on the ecology of Isle Royale National Park. For the third year in a row, the Isle Royale wolf population remains a mere two, while the moose population continues to stay above the historic average. Without the pressure of predation, the expanding moose population will have a greater impact on the island's forest ecology.
The study co-authors include Research Professor Rolf Peterson (SFRES), Professor John Vucetich (SFRES) and Assistant Research Professor Sarah Hoy (SFRES). They say the heart of the study's success has been the more than 1,000 citizen science volunteers who have bolstered the study's fieldwork efforts in small teams totaling about 40 people each year for the last 30 years. Together, they helped gather enough skulls to document the shrinking moose of Isle Royale, observed seasonal wolf activity and earned more than their fair share of hiking boot blisters.
Read the full story on mtu.edu/news.