Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What should be done about the wolves at Isle Royale National Park, U.S.?

Date:
November 16, 2012
Source:
Michigan Technological University
Summary:
The number of wolves at Isle Royale National Park has dropped to its lowest ever. Should the wolves be let go locally extinct? Reintroduced? Wildlife ecologists and environmental ethicists weigh in.

Wolves at Isle Royale National Park.
Credit: Image courtesy of Michigan Technological University

The number of wolves at Isle Royale National Park has dipped to nine -- the lowest seen since Michigan Technological University's wolf-moose predator-prey study began 54 years ago. What should be done if this furry icon of wilderness culture dies out altogether?

Michigan Tech researchers John Vucetich and Rolf Peterson and Michigan State University environmental ethicist Michael Nelson are willing to tackle this controversial subject.

The issue is a prickly one because there is conflict among environmentalists and ethicists about how we should -- or should not -- relate to nature and the environment. Some say, "let nature take its course." Others believe humans should work to maintain ecosystem health, and that may on some occasions require intervention.

"The appropriate approach is to acknowledge and understand all the values at stake, and then develop a perspective or position that would least infringe upon that set of values," say Vucetich, Peterson and Nelson.

There are three possible kinds of intervention that could save the wolves of Isle Royale:

* Wolf reintroduction -- reintroducing wolves if the present wolf population were to go extinct.

* Female reintroduction -- reintroducing female wolves when all present females have gone extinct.

* Genetic rescue -- introducing new wolves on Isle Royale while some of the present population remains, to broaden and strengthen the gene pool.

If the wolves are allowed to go extinct, the moose population on the remote island will grow unimpeded, until the moose strip the island of its vegetation and eventually, starve.

"The bottom line is, as long as there are moose there, keep the wolves there," says Vucetich.

"All things considered, if the wolves go to extinction, reintroduce them," Peterson concludes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan Technological University. The original article was written by Jennifer Donovan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan Technological University. "What should be done about the wolves at Isle Royale National Park, U.S.?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121116085206.htm>.
Michigan Technological University. (2012, November 16). What should be done about the wolves at Isle Royale National Park, U.S.?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121116085206.htm
Michigan Technological University. "What should be done about the wolves at Isle Royale National Park, U.S.?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121116085206.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Three Rare White Tiger Cubs Debut at Zoo

Raw: Three Rare White Tiger Cubs Debut at Zoo

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) The Buenos Aires Zoo debuted a trio of rare white Bengal tiger cubs on Wednesday. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins