Advertisement

Wolf and Moose Dynamics on Isle Royale

  • John A. Vucetich
  • Rolf O. Peterson
Chapter

3.1 Background

Moose (Alces alces) arrived on Isle Royale in the early 1900s (Mech 1966). For 50 years moose interacted with the forest without being exposed to predation or significant human harvest. By the late-1920s the impact of moose on the forest had become noticeable and the population probably comprised between 2,000 and 3,000 moose (Murie 1934). By the mid-1930s many moose had died of malnutrition and the population declined to probably a few hundred animals (Hickie 1936).

Although there were suggestions and one attempt to introduce gray wolves (Canis lupus) to Isle Royale in the 1940s and 1950s, the attempt failed in 1952 (Mech 1966). While humans were trying to reintroduce wolves, they arrived on their own in the late 1940s by crossing an ice bridge connecting Isle Royale and Canada. Analysis of mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acid (mtDNA) indicated that the population of wolves on Isle Royale was founded by a single female (Wayne et al. 1991). Since the founding event, the...

Keywords

Population Growth Rate Numerical Response Kill Rate Wolf Population Moose Population 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Coulson, T., Catchpole, E., Albon, S., Morgan, B. J. T., Pemberton, J. M., Clutton-Brock, T. H., Crawley, M. J., and Grenfell, B. T. 2001. Age, sex, density, winter weather, and population crashes in Soay sheep. Science 292:1528–1531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Eberhardt, L. L. 1997. Is wolf predation ratio-dependent? Canadian Journal of Zoology 75:1940–1944.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Festa-Bianchet, M., Gaillard, J. M., and Cote, S. D. 2003. Variable age structure and apparent density dependence in survival of adult ungulates. Journal of Animal Ecology 72:640–649.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fox, E. K. 2003. Making Sense of Life: Explaining Biological Development with Models, Metaphors, and Machines. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Gaillard, J. M., Festa-Bianchet, M., Yoccoz, N. G., Loison, A., and Toigo, C. 2000. Temporal variation in fitness components and population dynamics of large herbivores. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 31:367–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gasaway, W. C., Boertje, R. D., Grangaard, D. V., Kelleyhouse, D. G., R. O. Stephenson, R. O., and Larsen, D. G. 1992. The role of predation in limiting moose at low-densities in Alaska and Yukon and implications for conservation. Wildlife Monographs 120:1–59.Google Scholar
  7. Hickie, P. F. 1936. Isle Royale moose studies. Transactions of the North American Wildlife Conference 1:396–399.Google Scholar
  8. Holling, C. S., and Meffe, G. K. 1996. Command and control and the pathology of natural resource management. Conservation Biology 10:328–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jost, C., G. Devulder, J. A. Vucetich, R. O. Peterson, and R. Arditi. 2005. The wolves of Isle Royale display scale-invariant satiation and density dependent predation on moose. Journal of Animal Ecology 74:809–816.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Karns, P. D. 1997. Population distribution, density and trends. In Ecology and Management of the North American moose, eds. A. W. Franzmann and C. C. Schwartz, pp. 125–140. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.Google Scholar
  11. Ludwig, D., Hilborn, R., and Walters, C. 1993. Uncertainty, resource exploitation, and conservation: Lessons from history. Science 260:17–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. McLaren, B. E., and Peterson, R. O. 1994. Wolves, moose, and tree rings on Isle Royale. Science. 266:1555–1558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mech, L. D. 1966. The wolves of Isle Royale. National Park Service Faunal Series Ser. No. 7. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  14. Mech, L. D., and Peterson, R. O. 2003. Wolf-prey relations. In Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation, eds. L. D. Mech and L. Boitani, pp. 131–160. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  15. Messier, F. 1994. Ungulate population-models with predation – a case-study with the North-American moose. Ecology 75:478–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Murie, A. 1934. The moose of Isle Royale. Miscellaneous Publications of the Museum of Zoology No. 25. Ann Arbor, MI., pp. 1–11.Google Scholar
  17. National Research Council. 1997. Wolves, bears, and their prey in Alaska: Biological and social challenges in wildlife management. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Google Scholar
  18. Pastor, J., Dewey, B., Moen, R., Mladenoff, D. J., White, M., and Cohen, Y. 1998. Spatial patterns in the moose-forest-soil ecosystem on Isle Royale, Michigan, USA. Ecological Applications 8:411–424.Google Scholar
  19. Peterson, R. O. 1977. Wolf ecology and prey relationships on Isle Royale. Natl. Park Service Sci. Monogr. Ser. No. 11. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  20. Peterson, R. O., and Page, R. E. 1988. The rise and fall of Isle Royale wolves, 1975–1986. J. Mammal. 69:89–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Peterson, R. O., and Page, R. E. 1993. Detection of moose in midwinter from fixed-wing aircraft over dense forest cover. Wildlife Society Bulletin 21:80–86.Google Scholar
  22. Peterson, R. O., Thomas, N. J., Thurber, J. M., Vucetich, J. A., and Waite, T. A. 1998. Population limitation and the wolves of Isle Royale. Journal of Mammalogy 79:828–841.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Peterson, R. O., and Vucetich, J. A. 2006. Ecological studies of wolves on Isle Royale, 2005–2006 Annual Report. Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI. Available at http://www.isleroyalewolf.org
  24. Smith, D. W., Peterson, R. O., and Houston, D. B. 2003. Yellowstone after wolves. Bioscience 53:330–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Solberg, E. J., Saether, B.-E., Strand, O., and Loison, A. 1999. Dynamics of a harvested moose population in a variable environment. Journal of Animal Ecology 68:186–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Turchin, P. 2003. Complex Population Dynamics: A Theoretical/Empirical Synthesis. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Varley, N., and M. S. Boyce, M. S. 2006. Adaptive management for reintroductions: Updating a wolf recovery model for Yellowstone National Park. Ecological Modeling 193:315–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Vucetich, J. A., and Peterson, R. O. 2004a. The influence of prey consumption and demographic stochasticity on population growth rate of Isle Royale wolves (Canis lupus). Oikos 107:309–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Vucetich, J. A., and Peterson, R. O. 2004b. The influence of top-down, bottom-up, and abiotic factors on the moose (Alces alces) population of Isle Royale. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B 271:183–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Vucetich, J. A., and Peterson, R. O. 2004c. Long-term population and predation dynamics of wolves on Isle Royale. In Biology and Conservation of Wild Canids, eds. D. Macdonald and C. Sillero-Zubiri, pp. 281–292. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Vucetich, J. A., Peterson, R. O., and Schaefer, C. L. 2002. The effect of prey and predator densities on wolf predation. Ecology 83:3003–3013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Vucetich, J. A., Peterson, R. O., and Nelson, M. P. in press. Will the future of Isle Royale wolves and moose always differ from our sense of their past? In The World of Wolves: New Perspectives on Ecology, Behaviour and Policy, eds. M. Musiani, L. Boitani, and P. Paquet. Calgary, AB, Canada: University of Calgary PressGoogle Scholar
  33. Wayne, R. K., Lehman, N., Girman, D., Gogan, P. J. P., Gilbert, D. A., Hansen, K., Peterson, R. O., Seal, U. S., Eisenhawer, A., Mech, L. D., and Krumenaker, R. J. 1991. Conservation genetics of the endangered Isle Royale gray wolf. Conservation Biology 5:41–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wilmers, C. C., Post, E. S., Peterson, R. O., and Vucetich, J. A. 2006. Disease mediated switch from top-down to bottom-up control exacerbates climatic effects on moose population dynamics. Ecological Letters 9:383–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Wright, G. J., Peterson, R. O., Smith, D. W., and Lemke, T. O. 2006. Selection of Northern Yellowstone elk by gray wolves and hunters. Journal of Wildlife Management 70:1070–1078.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Forest Resources and Environmental ScienceMichigan Technological UniversityUSA
  2. 2.School of Forest Resources and Environmental ScienceMichigan Technological UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations