Tag Archives: Moose

Environmental Impact Statement – Isle Royale Wolves 

It is utterly astounding to me that any wolf advocate would support this cruel manipulation of wolves.

Members of a helicopter net gun trapping team use nets shot from a helicopter to capture and place radio collars on wolves in Yellowstone National Park.                                
The draft Environmental Impact Statement to Address the Presence of Wolves on Isle Royale (draft EIS) has been released and can be read here or is available at Isle Royale Wolves.

The draft EIS describes how park resources would be affected by the no action alternative and three action alternatives that involve the introduction of wolves to the island.  The draft EIS analyzes the impacts of each alternative on the island ecosystem, wilderness character, wolves and moose of Isle Royale.

ALTERNATIVE B (IMMEDIATE LIMITED INTRODUCTION) IS THE PARK SERVICES PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE:

Under alternative B, the National Park Service would introduce 2030 wolves to the island within the first three years.

Wolves selected for introduction would be captured using available tools ranging from helicopter netgunning, modified padded foot–traps (ie. leg hold traps)darting from a helicopter or modified snares with appropriate stops. 


During initial release, carcass provisioning of natural prey may be implemented to ensure the success of initial establishment. Moose carcasses would be“harvested” on Isle Royale and not from off island to prevent the exchange of disease, parasites, or other foreign materials from the mainland to the island. The provision of carcasses may serve as a means of encouraging recently introduced wolves to stay in certain areas of the island. Additionally, carcass provisioning may be used as a strategy to contain pair-bonded  individuals to one area of the island while the release of another animal or group of wolves occurs elsewhere. 

Wolf introduction would occur by hard release. This entails release of individuals or groups of wolves onto the island with no time to acclimate in holding pens prior to release and without intensive support provided following release. 


Moose on Isle Royale, Michigan. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Michigan Tech University, Rolf Peterson)

Bottom line: 20 to 30 wolves lives will be transformed permanently. They will be trapped, snared; darted or netted via helicopter. Many wolves will be injured, some will be gravely injured, some will live, some will die, most will be torn forever from family members. Certainly, all will be traumatized. Furthermore, harvesting (hunting) of moose in the National Park is something which I find unacceptable. 


During the collection of animals for the Yellowstone reintroduction programme at least 10 wolves died early in the process through trapping and snaring, and at least one died during incapacitation from the helicopter

Removal of the alpha animals from a pack would cause huge upheaval, and studies show that it would almost certainly lead to the dissolution of the pack. Packs that may have been in existence for generations could literally be wiped out by the removal of perhaps just one animal (Learn more here).
Wolves may also attempt to make their way back to their own territories. Relocation of wolves in Alaska’s Denali National Park has led to them returning hundreds of miles to their previous locations. Obviously wolves reintroduced to Isle Royale would be unable to do that, but the instinct to return home could, to say the least, be troubling for them. 

And what of the primary food source…As I have mentioned before, the moose population was near 2,400 individuals in 1996, but plummeted in just one year to 500 animals due to an outbreak of moose ticks and a severe winter. When moose became increasingly rare in 2006, capturing food became increasingly difficult for the wolves…“One wolf pack failed after another, with the population reduced by half. ” The 1,250 or so moose presently on Isle Royale, feeling the effects of climate change, can easily be devoured by a couple of dozen wolves and “wink out” leaving the wolves without a key and primary food source. 

Because your feedback is essential to the development of the EIS, NPS is asking for your thoughtful review and comments during the 90-day comment period, which concludes on March 15, 2017. For your comments to be considered during this review period,  you must submit them online at  http://parkplanning.nps.gov/Isrowolves  or hand deliver or mail them to the park at the following address: Superintendent Phyllis Green, Isle Royale National Park, ISRO Wolves, 800 East Lakeshore Drive, Houghton, Michigan 49931-1896.  Read about the alternative options  here or visit the Park Service’s website: Isle Royale Wolves.

Please take the time to read the Technical Input regarding options for bringing wolves to Isle Royale National Park, particularly page 16: If the current population of wolves on Isle Royale persists to the time of reintroducing new wolves, are there concerns with these wolves passing on deleterious traits (e.g., spinal malformations) to the introduced population? Should members of the current resident population of wolves be removed from the island before the introduction of new wolves due to their poor genetic health? What are the pros and cons of retaining these wolves or removing these wolves?

Unfortunately (or not), I  was unable to find a video of wolf net-gunning but the following video will suffice as an example of the misery and suffering during wildlife helicopter capture.

Related content:

Wolves of Isle Royale: Genetic Rescue or Sacrificial Lamb

 My Name is Rolf


 With wolves its all about family.

Needless to say that I am completely against this displacement of wolves and have selected Alternative A – No Action

Copyright © 2016 [COPYRIGHT Intheshadowofthewolf, name and webpage]. All Rights Reserved.

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My Name is Rolf

My name is Rolf.

I live on an island.

A few years ago I lived elsewhere, in a forest now lost, with my lifelong mate, my pups, and several other members of my pack. I was the alpha wolf then… back in 2017.

Time passes, yet I remember. I will always remember. In my dreams my pack resides.

We were hunting that winter day, my family and I. My pups were nearly 8 months old, still in the learning stages of mastering the skills needed to take down prey. Quite suddenly we heard a loud whirling sound coming from a creature in the sky which seemed to be chasing us, I felt a sharp sting in my leg and became very tired.

This was the final day spent with my pack in our forest.

I awoke here on this island alone, no mate, no pups, no pack. I searched for them but failed. This was an extremely disconcerting time for me, how would my family carry on without me? Who would lead the hunts? Would they survive? Would the pack dissolve, leaving my mate and pups to fend for themselves, resorting to surviving on “easy prey” like cattle or sheep, getting themselves into trouble with the ones who walk upright?

They say that time heals all wounds. The scars remain as reminders of just how painful our loss has truly been.
The memories inside of my mind,
ache to be manifested into my reality once again. These scars were not necessary for anamnesis, my life long mate lives in my heart until my last breath.

Time passes.

There are others wolves, many, like me, torn from home and family, living on this island. Perhaps we are a population of 25 or 30. I have a new mate now, we have 3 pups. Things seem peaceful here and the food is plentiful, well, was plentiful. We have been surviving on moose which have been a surprisingly easy catch as they were weakened by ticks and unusually hot summers. This past spring their condition worsened, and many died. Indeed, many moose did not even survive last year’s harsh winter.

Time passes.

Winter draws near again, and like other packs here, I have not been able to provide properly for my family for several months now. We are all very hungry. Some of us have been unable to fight off illnesses due to poor nutrition.

Time passes.

It is cold. The snow is deep. The prey are few and far between. This is my 3rd winter here on this paradise.

It is cold, the snow is deep. We are starving. Death for many of us is imminent.

I am old now and grow strangely tired.

I am Rolf. This was my life.

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Related content: Genetic Rescue or Sacrificial Lamb 

As Isle Royale prepares to add wolves, a look at just how that might be done

Feature image: Curtis Snow

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