Isle Royale announces wolf pups are being born on the island

Sep 14, 2020

Isle Royale National Park is reporting at least two new wolf pups have been born on the island.

The park has so far transported 19 wolves to the island in an effort to rebuild the wolf population. A recent survey of wolves on the island estimated as many as 14 on the island as of April of 2020.

Since relocating to the island some of the wolves died and at least one wolf left on an ice bridge back to Canada.

Before any of the transportation to the island took place only two native wolves remained.

Experts said one of the females brought over was likely pregnant with two pups before coming to Isle Royale. Droppings suggest that at least two more pups have since been conceived and born on the island.

Mark Romanski is with the Park. He said the births are a great sign that wolf populations are making themselves at home on the island.

“We’re super pleased about having wolf pups conceived and born on Isle Royale,” he said. “We’ve been in this project for two years and we’re happy that we have this positive sign our efforts are paying off.”

Romanski said droppings found near dens will need to be analyzed to determine how many wolf pups there actually are.

“We’ll be able to determine the minimum number of pups through DNA analysis of scats we collected at den and rendezvous sites,” he said. “That’ll tell us what we might expect this winter with respect to pack size and number of pups and all that.”

Romanski said another good sign is that wolves have been taking down moose. Moose overpopulation was one of the reasons behind bringing wolves back to the island.