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2019-04-30. Imported wolves settle in as Lake Superior island teems with moose.

posted May 7, 2019, 8:13 AM by Alan Gould
By Christine Mlot, Science Magazine. [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/04/imported-wolves-settle-lake-superior-island-teems-moose] For GSS Ecosystem Change chapter 6 and Population Growth chapter 3. Excerpt: Thirteen new radio-collared wolves are now scouting Isle Royale in Michigan and feasting on moose, whose numbers this winter reached 2060—the second highest estimate since ecologists began to study predators and prey on the island in 1958. The new wolves, imported to help restore the U.S. national park from overbrowsing by moose, are largely avoiding the territory of the remaining two wolves of the original population. Twenty female moose are also sporting radio collars, allowing biologists to watch both wolf and moose movements online. After 8 years essentially unfettered by predation because wolf numbers were so low, the moose population has been booming at 19% a year, according to data released today by Michigan Technological University (MTU) in Houghton. The new wolves are expected to check moose numbers and help restore balsam fir and other plants, according to National Park Service (NPS) planners. And the flood of GPS data is revealing “stuff we’ve never seen before,” says MTU wildlife ecologist Rolf Peterson, such as where moose congregate to feed on new spring growth. Peterson and his colleagues plan to chemically analyze the specific balsam fir trees moose eat to determine whether they choose twigs with compounds that may have anti-inflammatory properties....