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Isle Royale verifies falcon and wolf births

Wolf pups
Wolf pups

Houghton, MI— Last year marked the first time in 57 years that peregrine falcons, a state listed endangered species, nested and successfully fledged young on Isle Royale. This year that success was repeated with two chicks reared to fledging on Passage Island.

Also noteworthy this summer was the birth of at least two wolf pups. For the past several years the wolf population has been slowly declining, to a historic low of 8 animals at the end of winter study in March, 2013. These new animals are welcome additions to the population, bringing the total up to at least ten animals.

Island animal populations are generally small with fewer species than on the surrounding mainland.  For example, there are approximately 19 species of mammals documented on Isle Royale, far fewer than the number of mammals on the adjacent Michigan and Minnesota mainland.

Isle Royale National Park Superintendent Phyllis Green said, “It is always exciting when we learn about successful reproduction of wildlife in the park, and the birth of two wolf pups is especially good news.”  

She added, “While we were very happy to learn about the birth of the pups, we are still concerned about the population and are in the process of evaluating options on how to deal with the population in the future.”