Wildlife Biology

Chances are the two or three wolves who wandered over the ice from Minnesota or Canada to Isle Royale 60-some years ago were just looking for something to eat.

It's not likely they knew they and the moose that would make up their primary diet would become the subjects of decades of research.  And chances are they didn't realize that by becoming the lone predator on an island with essentially one prey species, they were creating the perfect "laboratory."

Michael Joyce/NRRI

When studies started showing that fishers (think big weasel) were declining in northern Minnesota, the DNR and wildlife biologists got concerned.

Michael Joyce, wildlife biologist with the NRRI got a team together, built 100 den boxes out of wood, strapped the 52-lb. boxes to frame packs and schlepped them out into the wilderness in hopes that with safe places to raise their families, fisher populations could start making a comeback.