John Vucetich, associate professor of wildlife ecology at Michigan Technological University said, “There is now a good chance that it is too late to conduct genetic rescue.”
Vucetcih along with the Rolf Peterson, a research professor at Michigan Tech have conducted the annual study of the parks animals.
The pack is made up of two adults and a 9 month old pub, the pub does not appear to be healthy. It is having constricted waistline, deformed tail, and hunched posture.
Vucetich says, “Those observations suggest that the pup is not well off, it would not be surprising if the pup was dead a year from today.”
Recovering of the wolf population is not going to happen on the island.
Since 2009, the population of the wolf in the island is declining rapidly, there were 24 wolves six years ago and now there are only three wolves.
The main reason for the decline in the population is due to inbreeding among the pack. Researchers say that inbred pubs have a low survival rate, and without introduction of new genetic material in the group it is impossible to recover the population.
The two adults in the pack are likely a mating pair and they would not mate with outside wolves even if they are given the chance.
The researchers noted that two other wolves which have made their way into the island via an ice bridge from the U.S. – Canadian mainland, but they left the island within a week. One of the possibilities is that the two pair of wolves didn’t notice each other.
This does not mean that the population of the wolf in the island would never recover naturally when it is possible for other wolves to enter the park, the only hurdle in the recovery could be that the resident adults are not interested in mating with outside population, but if that is not a problem than recovery is possible.
The declining of wolf population has increased the population of moose on the island. Moose is thriving on the island without any predator, but if the wolf-moose balance worsens then it can harm the ecology of the island.
Humans are blamed for the decline in population of wolves across United States. Hunting has depleted them from the western part of the country.