Effects of climate change on the wolf-moose predator-prey system of Isle Royale National Park, MI
Call, Natalie E.
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The purpose of this project was to research, anticipate, and mitigate the future the moose-wolf populations of Isle Royale National Park. Isle Royale is an archipelago in west central Lake Superior and is a combination of boreal and northern hardwood forests. The experiential work was sponsored by the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), and I assisted in the survey of the moose population of Isle Royale by bushwhacking through the dense wilderness in search for moose carrion to analyze for one week over summer 2022. The review paper focused on the increased impact of anthropogenic climate change on the predator-prey interaction of the moose and wolves of Isle Royale. The gray wolf population is expected to face increasing threats of inbreeding depression, while the moose population will face exponential stressors due to the changes in the archipelago’s composition and productivity. The anthropogenic impacts are found to be far greater than those of the predators. The review highlights the necessity of frequently evaluating the entire ecosystem of Isle Royale to create accurate and effective management practices. The senior individualized project experience enlightened a future path towards a career as a wildlife biologist and reiterated the importance of environmental conservation and the interconnection of all abiotic and biotic factors.