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Wolf moved to Isle Royale returns to mainland on ice bridge

A track of the wolf that left Isle Royale in 2019 on ice bridge. Submitted image
A track of the wolf that left Isle Royale in 2019 on ice bridge. Submitted image

One of the three wolves transferred from Grand Portage to Isle Royale last fall recently crossed Lake Superior on a natural ice bridge and returned to the mainland.

Immediately following the end of the government shutdown, National Park Service personnel went to Isle Royale to prepare for a potential translocation of wolves from Canada and to conduct the annual wolf/moose population monitoring.

Mark Romanski, Isle Royale National Park’s Division Chief for Natural Resources and project lead for the wolf reintroduction efforts, had been monitoring GPS data from each of the translocated wolves in preparation for the Canadian wolves.

After confirming the presence of two of the three collared wolves last weekend, the team directed their attention to a very static filled signal radiating from off Isle Royale’s north shore toward Canada. Following this signal, researchers suspected one of the wolves had crossed on an ice bridge and returned to either Canada or Minnesota.

It is now believed the wolf departed the island on Jan. 31, headed north and then west to a location just north of the Pigeon River, on the border between Canada and Minnesota.