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Wolf- Moose Study Essay

The point of this long running survey is study the effects of the climate and nature upon the wolf packs and moose of Isle Royale National Park, located in Lake Superior in Michigan. Professor Rolf Peterson of Michigan State University has been conducting this study and has found that by dealing with a basically unpopulated island that it is nearly ideal conditions to analyze the population status of both the moose and wolf population.

It is a predator-prey study. The given scenario would be that if all of the wolf packs died off and they were not replaced, what would happen to the moose population? Would it grow too quickly where the island could not support them and would it face a natural decline? It would be best to intervene and replace the wolf packs because it would maintain the natural balance of things.

The survey showed that the moose are controlled by the effects of food supply, weather and natural pestilence but though the article states that the island has had very mild winters for the last few years and that creates some ideal situations for increased population among the moose, there is also the factor of an increase in ticks which if left unstopped that they can kill off the moose from blood loss. Yet, without the moose’s natural predator, the wolves, the moose could continue to increase and over populate and therefore, cause death of starvation or other diseases.

The island would not be capable of supporting the rising numbers of moose. The island now has three wolf packs that number up to twenty-nine (Peterson 1) but it really would not take that many in order to control the moose population. As wolves are pack animals and the only way that they can successfully hunt and kill a large moose is as a pack, then it would have to be at least two fair sized packs of six to seven members. Works Cited/Reference Peterson, Rolf, This Year’s Moose-Wolf Study Report: 2004, http://www. msu. edu/user/kilpela/wolf. htm


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