Pandemic interrupts longtime Isle Royale wolf, moose study

Michigan

FILE – In this Feb. 28, 2019 file photo provided by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the U.S. National Park Service and the National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation, a white wolf is released onto Isle Royale National Park in Michigan. One of the world’s longest-running wildlife field studies has fallen prey to the coronavirus pandemic. Superintendent Denice Swanke said Friday, Jan. 15, 2021 that this year’s mission has been scrapped to protect the scientists and support personnel from possible exposure to the virus. (Daniel Conjanu/The National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation via AP, File)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — One of the world’s longest-running wildlife field studies has fallen prey to the coronavirus pandemic.

Since 1959, a research team has spent most of the winter observing the interplay between wolves and moose at Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior.

But Superintendent Denice Swanke said Friday that this year’s mission has been scrapped to protect the scientists and support personnel from possible exposure to the virus.

The remote park is closed from Nov. 1 to April 15 and the winter researchers use a single cabin, which wouldn’t allow for social distancing.

Scientists are trying to document how a mission to rebuild the wolf population that had declined in recent years is affecting the island ecosystem.

Latest Stories

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Follow Us

SISU

Virtual tour of the Upper Peninsula