Pandemic interrupts longtime Isle Royale wolf, moose study

By JOHN FLESHER AP Environmental Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — One of the world's longest-running wildlife field studies has fallen prey to the coronavirus pandemic.

Since 1959, a research team has spent most of the winter observing the interplay between wolves and moose at Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior.

But Superintendent Denice Swanke said Friday that this year's mission has been scrapped to protect the scientists and support personnel from possible exposure to the virus.

The remote park is closed from Nov. 1 to April 15 and the winter researchers use a single cabin, which wouldn't allow for social distancing.

Scientists are trying to document how a mission to rebuild the wolf population that had declined in recent years is affecting the island ecosystem.

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