Skip to main content

The Wolf Moose Project on Isle Royale

No video provider was found to handle the given URL. See the documentation for more information.

Isle Royale is an island in the north of cold Lake Superior, its only 45 miles long and 9 miles wide and is far enough away from the mainland that it is incredibly secluded. This island is home to only two large species: moose, who find the cold spruce covered island an excellent place to graze, and a few packs of wolves who enjoy being the only large predator species to prey on these moose.

In 1958, a small group of wildlife biologists first began studying this predator prey system, using the island's seclusion to study population dynamics as new creatures rarely make it to the island and fewer leave. For more than 50 years, these biologists have been continuously studying the island's creatures by enduring the harsh cold and snow and venturing out to survey the island by helicopter. Their findings have changed how we view wolves as random killers, have given unique insight into the social dynamics of predators and are helping us understand the causes for arthritis. Michigan Tech professor Rolf Peterson, a member of AAAS, John Vucetich, another professor at Michigan Tech, and Michael Nelson, a professor at Michigan State University, shared stories and stunning images with AAAS MemberCentral in this audio slideshow that highlights the amazing science from Isle Royale.

Learn more about the Isle Royale Wolf Moose Project, including how you can visit this amazing island, on their website. The biologists have also been sharing the stories of day-to-day life on the island with the New York Times.