HOUGHTON, Mich. (FOX 9) - Seven more wolves were captured and relocated to Isle Royale National Park on Lake Superior over the weekend as part of an ongoing effort to rebuild the island’s once-thriving wolf population.
According to the National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation, six of the wolves came from Michipicoten Island on northern Lake Superior. They were the last remaining wolves on that island. The wolves were in danger of starving because their prey, caribou, no longer exist on Michipicoten Island.
The seventh wolf came from mainland Ontario, Canada.
The effort to capture the wolves and bring them to Isle Royale was coordinated by the foundation and the International Wolf Center, which is based in Ely, Minnesota.
Last year, the National Park Service announced its plan to move 20-30 wolves from the U.S. and Canada to Isle Royale over the next three years to restore predation to the island’s ecosystem. The wolf population had fallen off in recent years until only two non-breeding wolves remained to hunt the 1,400 moose that roam the island.
WOLF WEEK: Wolves to be reintroduced to Isle Royale
With the addition of these seven wolves, there are now believed to be 15 wolves on the island.
Wildlife officials released four Minnesota wolves on the island last fall, but one wolf died and another walked back to the mainland over an ice bridge that formed over the winter. Four more wolves were relocated from Canada—including two from Michipicoten Island—earlier this month.
This story was reported from Minneapolis.