Sudbury

Remaining wolves on Michipicoten Island find new home on Isle Royale

Michipicoten Island in Lake Superior is now without wolves or caribou.The island is 65 kilometres southwest of Wawa and falls within the boundaries of the Thunder Bay District.  It's the third largest island in Lake Superior.

Taxpayers not on the hook for the re-location, says Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry

This wolf was live captured via net on Michipicoten island and transferred to Isle Royale. (photo OMNRF)


Michipicoten Island in Lake Superior is now without wolves or caribou.

The island is 65 kilometres southwest of Wawa and falls within the boundaries of the Thunder Bay District. 

It's the third largest island in Lake Superior.

A crew, including staff from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), moved about half a dozen wolves from the island to a park on Isle Royale on the Michigan side of the border on March 23 and 24.

The Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, John Yakabuski says the wolves were lacking a natural prey on Michipicoten.

 "They were definitely in a declining condition," said Yakabuski. "It ranged from good to poor for the ones on the weekend. They're all doing well. The condition was completely related to the food supply that was on Michipicoten Island. After re-location they're all doing well according to the U.S. Park Service. We're really, really happy with the way things went."

Last year, the MNRF moved caribou from Michipicoten north to the Slate Islands because their numbers were dwindling.

Yakabuski says the wolves are helping to bolster a pack in Isle Royale National Park that had been decimated by a virus.

"Because the wolves had died off in Isle Royale, they had been attacked by a virus and our wolves here in Ontario have an immunity to the virus so it was agreed we would capture and transport wolves to Isle Royale," he said.

He called the operation a "smashing success" and noted that Ontario taxpayers did not have to pay a cent for the re-location; that any costs incurred by the MNRF were covered by the U.S. Parks Service.

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