Daily Bread for 7.1.24: A Study of Wolves’ Influence in Isle Royale National Park

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 74. Sunrise is 5:21 and sunset 8:36 for 15h 15m 55s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 21.4 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Police and Fire Commission meets at 6 PM.

On this day in 1836, scientist Increase Allen Lapham arrives in Milwaukee. By 1844 he had published Wisconsin’s first book, A Geographical and Topographical, Description of Wisconsin. He was a founder of the Milwaukee Female College, which later became Milwaukee Downer College, a charter member of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, and a founder of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. Toward the end of his life, he was Wisconsin State Geologist. He also was an influential advocate of the weather bureau in the 1870s.

On this day in 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg begins.

Danielle Kaeding reports Study tracks how wolf reintroduction at Isle Royale affected foxes, martens (‘UW-Madison researchers find wolves had temporary effects on the diet of foxes and marten numbers at remote National Park site’):

The reintroduction of wolves has only had temporary effects on other small carnivores at Isle Royale National Park on Lake Superior, according to new research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The park is the site of the longest predator-prey study on record between wolves and moose. Over the years, the wolf population has fluctuated there, but the species almost went extinct in the last decade after only two inbred wolves remained. Those wolves couldn’t reproduce to control the moose population.

In the fall of 2018, federal authorities began to introduce 19 wolves to Isle Royale. UW-Madison researchers led a study that took a before-and-after look at how wolves affected small carnivores there, such as red foxes and American martens.


Jonathan Pauli, a forest and wildlife ecology professor at UW-Madison, said the research highlights the competitive interactions between the species.

“In the absence of wolves, foxes have free range of the island and that’s to the detriment of martens,” Pauli said. “But when wolves return, at least at first, they then enforce these really important costs on foxes, which benefits martens. But, eventually, it all kind of settles down.”

What’s in the Night Sky: July 2024:

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