Press Release: Howling For Wolves comments on yesterday’s National Park Service announcement regarding adding wolves to Michigan’s Isle Royale

December 17, 2016

CONTACT: Dr. Maureen Hackett, Howling For Wolves, 612.250.5915 or Leslie Rosedahl,, 651.353.1818.

Howling For Wolves comments on yesterday’s National Park Service announcement regarding adding wolves to Michigan’s Isle Royale

(St. Paul, Minn.) – Yesterday the National Park Service put forward a draft plan to potentially release wolves on Michigan’s Isle Royale in an effort to keep a wolf population on the island. With only two closely related wolves left on the isle, there will be no sustainable wolf population on Isle Royale unless additional wolves are introduced.

Dr. Maureen Hackett, founder and president of Howling For Wolves, a Minnesota-based wolf advocacy organization, said in response:

“Howling For Wolves supports releasing wolves onto Isle Royale immediately. We recommend ‘out of the box’ thinking regarding the choice of the wolves for release. We think that wherever possible, wolves living in captivity that can survive in the wild should be chosen for release into Isle Royale.  This could be an opportunity to place genetically diverse wolves on the isle. We think that ethical wolf monitoring activities be employed with the wolf’s best interest as a priority in all related decisions. 

Apex predators are vital for healthy and intact ecosystems, and we see this distinctly on Isle Royale. These forests need the wolf. Isle Royale is unique; the ecosystem has changed and now has a thriving moose population. We understand that Isle Royale historically has been both with and without moose. But now that Isle Royale has returned to forest, both the forest and the moose must have the wolf in order to exist.  A wolf’s presence is best described as an ‘ecology of fear.’ The moose browse more quickly and on the move when a wolf lives nearby; allowing for more trees to mature. Without the wolf, the moose will eat their trees before they mature enough to grow more trees.

We think it is both ethical and desirable to release enough wolves on Isle Royale to allow for a healthy and sustaining wolf population. We understand that Isle Royale’s geography is very isolating for wolves and that Isle Royale’s wolf population will have challenges. Despite these challenges, the wolf release will provide far more benefits than the efforts involved in keeping wild wolves there. Right now, we are in danger of losing the wolf in many areas across the country. On Isle Royale the wolf can exist with a human hand up.  With all we have done to kill the wolf isn’t this a nice opportunity to give some captive wolves a chance to live free too?”


Howling For Wolves is a Minnesota-based wolf advocacy organization that formed in 2012 to educate the public about the wild wolf to foster tolerance and to ensure the wolf’s long-term survival. Howling For Wolves opposes recreational wolf hunting and trapping and all wildlife snaring. We current support the continuation of federal protections for the wolf by the Endangered Species Act.



December 17, 2016