March Monthly Gathering – Life and Death Among the Wolves

Gray Wolf taken in central MN under controlled conditions

Journey with us to Isle Royale, a remote, rugged, island wilderness in the middle of Lake Superior. Fifty miles from the Michigan shore and about fifteen miles from Minnesota It is only accessible by ferry, seaplane, or private watercraft. 

But Isle Royale, is also a unique national park, where a thrilling drama is unfolding between wolves and moose, the island’s ultimate predator and prey, whose lives and deaths are linked in a drama that is timeless and historic.

Join us at 7:00pm (EST), on Saturday, March 16, when Dr. Rolf Peterson, of Michigan Technological University, will discuss the wolf-moose relations in this isolated ecosystem where neither wolves nor moose are hunted by humans. After 70 years of coexistence, wolves declined to virtual extinction in the 2010s because of inbreeding, as the arrival of occasional new wolves is increasingly hampered by lack of ice on Lake Superior in winter as the climate warms and becomes increasingly windy.

In 2018-2019 the National Park Service attempted to restart the wolf population by introducing animals from several areas around the Lake Superior region. Dr. Peterson will summarize the status of the new arrivals and the significance of wolf predation for the island’s ecosystem. His findings are the result of the longest-running, most widely-cited predator prey study in the world.

Rolf Peterson has been studying populations of wolves and moose in Isle Royale National Park for over 50 years, especially their predator-prey relationship in an area where neither species is directly impacted by humans. His Ph.D. from Purdue University involved his initial work in this area, and he has used similar approaches for wolf-related studies in Alaska and Yellowstone National Park. At Michigan Technological University he has been on the faculty in Biological Sciences as well as in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (SFRES). Since retiring from his regular faculty appointment, he has continued doing predator-prey research as a Research Professor in SFRES. He has over 150 peer-reviewed publications from his research.

The Zoom room opens at 6:30pm (Eastern) for mingling. The program starts at 7:00pm (Eastern). Please remember that all attendees need to pre-register by clicking on the following link: . 

There is no charge for the Zoom presentation, but, due to rising costs, your donation via PayPal is greatly appreciated. Please donate $5! To donate go to and click on the “Send Money” tab. Enter the e-mail address and your payment amount. Be sure to include a notation that your donation is for “SEMM Zoom Presentations.”