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Long running Isle Royale study reveals disturbing news

[thumbnail icon url=”Long-running-Isle-Royale-study-reveals-disturbing-news” filename=”science” year=”2009″ month=”10″ day=”28″] Tom Meersman, of the Star Tribune – out of Minneapolis-St. Paul – delves into the research of Rolf Peterson and associates in the longest running prey-predator study in the world.

Isle Royal National Park, in Lake Superior, is home to a remarkable study, one which Rolf Peterson has been a part of for close to 40 of the 51 years the research has been underway.

What once told a story of delicate, ecological balance is now the tale of an impending disaster instead.

The problems at the park begs a question – one which Tom Meersman poses at the top of his article, Trouble in nature’s laboratoryand one which challenges humans to make a decision as the balance is sought between rectifying the damage caused by human mistakes and the process of natural selection.

“The world’s longest study of a predator-prey relationship has brought disturbing news. Should man intervene when nature makes it a struggle to survive?” 

 

In-breeding has introduced genetic weaknesses in to the wolf population. During the 1980s, a disease brought to the island by a domestic dog ravaged the wolf population, a blow from which it never truly recovered. And the moose population is declining at an alarming rate, bringing it to a 50-year low.

A fascinating article which delves deeply into a worrying result to a stunning research project which many may not have even known existed.

Read Tom Meersman’s entire Trouble in nature’s laboratory article.

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