Study: Moose on Lake Superior island are shrinking

DULUTH, Minn. — Scientists studying the moose population on a national park in Lake Superior have discovered that the size of the animals has been shrinking over the years.

Michigan Tech University scientists studied more than 660 moose skulls from Isle Royale National Park, which is located about 25 miles off the tip of northeastern Minnesota, Minnesota Public Radio reported . Scientists discovered that the skulls have shrunk by 16 percent over the past 40 years.

The study found that moose skulls were smaller if they were born in years when moose were more abundant. An increase in the moose population means there's less food for each animal.

"As wolf predation has gone down on the island, moose abundance has gone up, and that's contributed to most of the changes we've seen, maybe 80 percent of the changes we've seen," said John Vucetich, an ecologist at the university who co-authored the study.

Researchers believe there may only be one wolf remaining on the island.

The moose population on the island has tripled in the past decade to about 1,600 this year.

The National Park Service is expected to release a plan soon that would introduce new wolves to the island to help curtail the growing moose population.

The new study "lends support for the notion that wolves are important for keeping a healthy moose population," Vucetich said.

Scientists also discovered that moose born in warmer years also had smaller skulls and lived shorter lives.

___

Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org

Related News

Image of Asia: Taking part in the festival of the janai

Aug 18, 2016

Image of Asia: A Hindu priest adjusts his hair while performing rituals during Janai Purnima in Kathmandu, Nepal

A festival to remember a riot? New York event stirs debate

Aug 18, 2016

A plan to mark the 25th anniversary of one of New York City's most searing race riots with a family oriented festival has brought criticism from relatives of a man killed in the violence

Rare Tyrannosaurus rex skull arrives at Seattle museum

Aug 19, 2016

Paleontologists with Seattle's Burke Museum have unearthed the bones of a Tyrannosaurus rex that lived more than 66 million years ago, including a rare nearly complete 4-foot long skull

Must Read

A festival to remember a riot? New York event stirs debate

Aug 18, 2016

A plan to mark the 25th anniversary of one of New York City's most searing race riots with a family oriented festival has brought criticism from relatives of a man killed in the violence

US Olympic gold hasn't made for winning bets in Las Vegas

Aug 19, 2016

Rowing, shooting and judo _ the U.S. may have won big gold medals in those Olympic events but some of the most prominent Las Vegas sports books didn't even bother with them

Russia rallies for gold in rhythmic gymnastics group final

Aug 21, 2016

Russia rallies for gold in rhythmic gymnastics group final

About Us

Tale Out is your go-to website when it comes to global travel and lifestyle news. If you need suggestions for the most relaxing places for vacation or some zen spa retreat, we have it all here in Tale Out.

Contact us: sales@taleout.com