HOWL Colorado

Blog: A Wolf-Moose Standoff at Isle Royale

John Vucetich, a wildlife ecologist from Michigan Technological University, leads the wolf-moose Winter Study at Isle Royale National Park and writes a blog for New York Times.

Thursday, Jan. 26

No flying today. Moisture drips from low and lingering clouds. But our ground-based crew is productive. Our field technicians, Dieter Weise and Beth Kolb, snowshoe all day through spruce, over creeks, beneath cedars. They are searching for moose tracks. They find five sets of tracks and follow them to the treasure they seek: pellet piles and yellow snow. The samples will tell us, with help of some chemical analyses, about the pregnancy and nutritional status of those moose.

Rob Bell, a National Park Service employee, snowshoes the Hugginin Loop, recording which balsam firs have survived from last year. The balsam firs are an important source of food for moose.

Each bit of information we collect is like a fragment of papyrus from an ancient text — not very informative by itself, but loaded with insight when the fragments are pieced together in just the right way.

Meanwhile, we take a sauna, not because we need it, but because we have time on our hands…

Read John’s entire blog on nytimes.com: A Wolf-Moose Standoff at Isle Royale

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