Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Canada has been airlifting caribou across Lake Superior after they were decimated by wolves

The operation over weekend comes after wolves arrived on their Lake Superior island.
Author:

What's happening?

Canadian authorities have been transporting caribou by helicopter over the weekend, taking them from Michipicoten Island on Lake Superior to the Slate Islands on Saturday.

One bull and six females were tranquilized and placed aboard a transport helicopter for the 80-mile journey, the SaultStar reports.

Why are they doing this?

Because wolves on Micipicoten Island have absolutely decimated the caribou herd – and we're not understating this.

As the Duluth News Tribune reports, a handful wolves arrived on the island in 2014, crossing from the Ontario mainland thanks to the rare formation of an ice bridge.

Before they arrived, the Toronto Star reports there were as many as 700 caribou on the island. Right now? There are only between 30-100 left – and they're the last remaining caribou in the entire region.

The Canadian government had been pressured by caribou protection and tribal groups to take action to preserve the herd.

So what happens now?

Settling in on the wolf-less Slate Islands, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in Canada hope the herd should have a chance to rebuild.

Ideally, the long-term view is that they should eventually be able to return to the much-larger Michipicoten Island.

The issues on Michipicoten are in stark contrast to the developments on another Lake Superior island, Isle Royale, which is in Michigan though is closest to the Minnesota mainland.

On Isle Royale, it's the wolf population that has been struggling, with inbreeding leading to the dwindling of the population to the point there's as few as two left.

While the wolf population declined, moose numbers on the island have exploded to more than 1,300.

Next Up

2021_0930_Practices_0036

Vikings place Dalvin Tomlinson on COVID-19/reserve list

The defensive line takes another blow ahead of Sunday's game with the 49ers.

Tattersall_Distilling_River_Falls_0001

Photos: Tattersall Distillery's new 'destination distillery' in WI

The Minneapolis-based craft spirits manufacturer announced an opening date for its new space.

best buy

Best Buy considering added security to counter organized retail crime

CEO Corie Barry addressed the issue during a Q3 earnings call.

FINNEGANS Caribou image

FINNEGANS, Caribou Coffee team up for charitable MN brew

The Dead Irish Poet stout is now available at liquor stores and bars.

Jiecong Cao

Man charged in sex trafficking bust at Roseville hotel

He has been charged with the promoting of prostitution.

Justin Morneau

5 former Minnesota Twins are on the MLB Hall of Fame ballot

Four were staples on the 2000s teams and the other is the one that got away.

kitchen window minneapolis google street view - crop

Kitchen Window reveals it will close, announces storewide sale

The premium cookware shop has been in business for more than 35 years.

covid, vaccine

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, November 23

The latest info from the state health department.

Related

One of the wolves relocated to Isle Royale has died

Four wolves were moved to the island in Lake Superior by the National Park Service.

Playtime over for the moose on Isle Royale ... the wolves are coming

The National Park Service confirmed they'll add 20-30 wolves to the island by 2023.

Screen Shot 2019-12-01 at 9.33.26 PM

Storm causes famous Lake Superior sea stack to collapse

The Tettegouche Stack finally tumbled this weekend.

Wolf dies after being captured for release on Isle Royale

The Park Service is trying to introduce more wolves to the island.

These photos were submerged under Lake Superior for 11 years

The owner of the digital camera was finally tracked down – in Idaho.

A curious bear has been exploring yards in a Minnesota city

One resident said the bear had charged at him and his dog.

A curious bear has been exploring yards in a Minnesota city

One resident said the bear had charged at him and his dog.