The Wolf- Moose Study of Isle Royale National Park
To listen to the music of the wilderness, is to listen to the howl of the wolf. Man may never fully understand the composer, nor his passion behind each note, but the aura of mystery that surrounds him will forever fill our dreams with wonder and adventure. For centuries, wolves have carried their melodies on a small island in northern Lake Superior, known as Isle Royale. Completely cut off from the mainland, Isle Royale is extremely isolated, with only a handful of human structures and trails. The wolves who reside on the island are not alone, however, accompanied by a native of the cervidae family, the moose (Peterson). Together, these two species, combined with the remote nature of Isle Royale, produce one of the most incredible ecological relationships in the world. Their lives deeply intertwined, the moose and wolves share a unique predator-prey relationship. The moose consume the raw flora of the island, and the wolves feed on the moose without competition from other predators. The distribution of both species is limited to the islands shores, which creates a highly controlled setting. Such an incredible scenario has drawn the attention of biologists and ecologists from around the world. Beginning in 1958 and continuing to present day, the Isle Royale Research Project has intensively researched, documented, and monitored the interaction between the wolf and moose free of human presence (Peterson). The island is the perfect location for a study. In essence the island itself acts as a controlled laboratory, and the researchers can observe the interaction between the species away from human impact.
To fully understand the relationship between the two species and the ecological study paralleling them, one must first understand the island and its history. With a total area of 206 square miles, the Isle Royale archipelago reaches 45 miles long and 9 miles wide (Uhler). According to the National Park...
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