Winter research on Isle Royale postponed to 2022

HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) – Winter search activities at Isle Royale National Park will not take place this year, for the first time in more than six decades.

Following the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local authorities, and in support of the nation’s efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, NPS staff and researchers will not conduct research on the ‘Isle Royale this winter.

Researchers from Michigan Technological University, State University of New York College of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Minnesota, Grand Portage Band Lake Superior Chippewa and the NPS have planned to conduct various aspects of ecosystem research this winter as part of a long-term research program and assess the ecological impacts of restoring wolves to the ecosystem.

The wilderness of the isolated island of Isle Royale cannot claim to be a refuge from the pandemic. Factors leading to the decision include the closure of the U.S.-Canada border, insufficient air resources to transport personnel and cargo and assist with emergency evacuation if needed, and pressure of the pandemic on local resources.

“Although this is the first time since 1959 that winter research has not taken place, the NPS and our partners are confident in the decision to prioritize the health and safety of staff,” noted the superintendent. of Isle Royale, Denice Swanke. Isle Royale National Park is closed to visitors from November 1 to April 15 each year.

The NPS will work with partners to maximize opportunities in the upcoming summer field season to document wolf population changes through the collection of genetic material from feces, remote cameras and other n not involving direct observation. However, regarding the moose population, effective and feasible methods are not yet available to provide a population estimate during the summer field season in 2021.

To learn more about Isle Royale’s wolves and introductory efforts or the park, you can watch the CuriosityStream movie., Return of the Wolves — CuriosityStream, produced in partnership with the National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation, and read the recently released summary report at You can also visit and for more information.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for the 423 parks in the National Parks System and work with communities across the country to help preserve local history and create nearby recreation opportunities. To visit NPS websiteor follow the National Park Service on Facebook, Twitterand Youtube.

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