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Moose Population Explodes on Isle Royale as Wolves Decline

The moose population on Isle Royale is surging as the wolf population fails to regenerate. The moose population on Isle Royale is surging as the wolf population fails to regenerate. |  Photo: Minnesota DNR, file

April 18, 2017 05:11 PM

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Scientists say the moose of Isle Royale National Park are undergoing a population explosion as the number of wolves that prey on them declines.

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Michigan Technological University researchers say in a report released Tuesday that about 1,600 moose now roam the Lake Superior wilderness island in Michigan - and that their numbers could double in three to four years.

There are signs that the moose are over-eating the park's balsam fir trees. Eventually, that could lead to mass starvation.

Since the mid-20th century, Isle Royale's gray wolves kept the moose population in check. But the severely inbred wolves have been in decline and only two remain.

The National Park Service is considering whether to supply the island with more wolves.


WDIO

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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