202

Wolf restoration project at Isle Royale off to strong start

This Feb. 28, 2019 photo provided by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the U.S. National Park Service and the National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation shows an Ontario wolf captured at Michipicoten Island in Ontario, Canada. Authorities are preparing for another mission to relocate gray wolves to Isle Royale National Park from a second Lake Superior island. The wolves would be moved from Michipicoten Island in Canadian territory, where they're in danger of starvation after gobbling up a caribou herd. The transfer planned for this weekend is part of a multi-year effort to rebuild wolf numbers at Isle Royale, which have plummeted in the past decade. (Mike Allan/Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry via AP)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The rebuilding of Isle Royale National Park’s gray wolf population is off to a strong start.

The Michigan park in Lake Superior now has 15 wolves following the transfer of seven from Canada over the weekend. Six came from Michipicoten Island and one from the Ontario mainland.

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says the wolves were fitted with radio collars before their release so scientists can monitor their movements.

They’re the latest newcomers relocated to Isle Royale from Ontario and Minnesota since the restoration project started last September, when only two wolves remained at the park. Their population had dropped the previous decade because of inbreeding and other problems.

Officials eventually want 20 to 30 wolves on the island to keep its moose numbers under control.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.