Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


What Should Be Done About the Wolves?

The number of wolves at Isle Royale National Park has dipped to nine—the lowest seen since Michigan Technological University’s wolf-moose predator-prey study began 54 years ago. What should be done if this furry icon of wilderness culture dies out altogether?

Michigan Tech researchers John Vucetich and Rolf Peterson and Michigan State University environmental ethicist Michael Nelson are willing to tackle this controversial subject.

Michigan Technological University

Closeup of an Isle Royale National Park wolf.

The issue is a prickly one because there is conflict among environmentalists and ethicists about how we should—or should not—relate to nature and the environment. Some say, “let nature take its course.” Others believe humans should work to maintain ecosystem health, and that may on some occasions require intervention.

“The appropriate approach is to acknowledge and understand all the values at stake, and then develop a perspective or position that would least infringe upon that set of values,” say Vucetich, Peterson and Nelson.

There are three possible kinds of intervention that could save the wolves of Isle Royale:

* Wolf reintroduction—reintroducing wolves if the present wolf population were to go extinct.

* Female reintroduction—reintroducing female wolves when all present females have gone extinct.

* Genetic rescue—introducing new wolves on Isle Royale while some of the present population remains, to broaden and strengthen the gene pool.

If the wolves are allowed to go extinct, the moose population on the remote island will grow unimpeded, until the moose strip the island of its vegetation and eventually, starve.

“The bottom line is, as long as there are moose there, keep the wolves there,” says Vucetich.

“All things considered, if the wolves go to extinction, reintroduce them,” Peterson concludes.


Rolf Peterson | Newswise Science News
Further information:

Further reports about: ISLE Peterson Vucetich Wolf reintroduction Wolves wilderness culture

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Don't forget plankton in climate change models, says study
27.11.2015 | University of Exeter

nachricht Using sphere packing models to explain the structure of forests
26.11.2015 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung - UFZ

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Climate study finds evidence of global shift in the 1980s

Planet Earth experienced a global climate shift in the late 1980s on an unprecedented scale, fuelled by anthropogenic warming and a volcanic eruption, according to new research published this week.

Scientists say that a major step change, or ‘regime shift’, in the Earth’s biophysical systems, from the upper atmosphere to the depths of the ocean and from...

Im Focus: Innovative Photovoltaics – from the Lab to the Façade

Fraunhofer ISE Demonstrates New Cell and Module Technologies on its Outer Building Façade

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has installed 70 photovoltaic modules on the outer façade of one of its lab buildings. The modules were...

Im Focus: Lactate for Brain Energy

Nerve cells cover their high energy demand with glucose and lactate. Scientists of the University of Zurich now provide new support for this. They show for the first time in the intact mouse brain evidence for an exchange of lactate between different brain cells. With this study they were able to confirm a 20-year old hypothesis.

In comparison to other organs, the human brain has the highest energy requirements. The supply of energy for nerve cells and the particular role of lactic acid...

Im Focus: Laser process simulation available as app for first time

In laser material processing, the simulation of processes has made great strides over the past few years. Today, the software can predict relatively well what will happen on the workpiece. Unfortunately, it is also highly complex and requires a lot of computing time. Thanks to clever simplification, experts from Fraunhofer ILT are now able to offer the first-ever simulation software that calculates processes in real time and also runs on tablet computers and smartphones. The fast software enables users to do without expensive experiments and to find optimum process parameters even more effectively.

Before now, the reliable simulation of laser processes was a job for experts. Armed with sophisticated software packages and after many hours on computer...

Im Focus: Quantum Simulation: A Better Understanding of Magnetism

Heidelberg physicists use ultracold atoms to imitate the behaviour of electrons in a solid

Researchers at Heidelberg University have devised a new way to study the phenomenon of magnetism. Using ultracold atoms at near absolute zero, they prepared a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

Fraunhofer’s Urban Futures Conference: 2 days in the city of the future

25.11.2015 | Event News

Gluten oder nicht Gluten? Überempfindlichkeit auf Weizen kann unterschiedliche Ursachen haben

17.11.2015 | Event News

Art Collection Deutsche Börse zeigt Ausstellung „Traces of Disorder“

21.10.2015 | Event News

Latest News

Siemens to supply 126 megawatts to onshore wind power plants in Scotland

27.11.2015 | Press release

Two decades of training students and experts in tracking infectious disease

27.11.2015 | Life Sciences

Coming to a monitor near you: A defect-free, molecule-thick film

27.11.2015 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>