Health Editor’s Note: In Michigan, Isle Royale National Park, in Lake Superior, is home to wolves and moose. Ninety nine percent of this land is federally designated as a wilderness. There is a single predator-single prey relationship between wolves and moose which has been the subject of a study (1958) for over 50 years. Human interaction is limited due to access to the island is by boat, and there are no roads. With both populations establishing in the 1900s there have been lots of years to study these two and their population balance has peaked and ebbed. There was a point when there were only two wolves on the island.
The hope is to increase the wolf population. The park is closed September to May with the only humans on the island being the people involved in the study. The wolves have been subject to inbreeding and can carry a spinal deformity. Wolves were introduced in December 2016 to improve the genetic balance and to increase the wolf count.
Wolves and Bears Are Being Returned to a Rare Patch of Ancient Woodland in Britain
by Brigit Katz Smithsonian.com
If asked to conjure an image of natural landscapes in Britain, verdant, low-lying pastures might come to mind. But in centuries past, the region was covered with dense woodlands—forests that have been all but lost due to human activities. Now, a conservation group is hoping to bring one of Britain’s ancient woods back to life with a wildlife exhibit that will allow visitors to view four animals—European brown bears, grey wolves, Eurasian lynxes and wolverines—in the natural environment where they once roamed.
As Steven Morris reports for the Guardian, the initiative is being spearheaded by the Wild Place Project, a conservation park in Bristol operated by the Bristol Zoological Society. Bear Wood, as the exhibit is called, will stretch across a rare patch of ancient woodland that sits on the park’s property— “ancient woodland” being the term used to describe forests that have existed in England since at least 1600 A.D. Largely undisturbed by human development, these forests offer rich habitats for threatened species, among them greater-spotted woodpeckers, tawny owls and hedgehogs. But today, ancient woods make up just two percent of the United Kingdom’s land area. They are also devoid of some of their most important predators.