Isle Royale, Michigan
A Fight for Survival
First came the moose. About 100 years ago, some of the animals swam or walked across ice to Isle Royale, a fir- and spruce-covered island in Lake Superior. There they found moose heaven, nothing but forage.
Next came the gray wolves. They arrived around 1950, after a cold winter allowed them to cross 15 miles of ice from the Canadian shore. They found a wolf idyll, all moose meat and a dearth of people, who had wiped out most of the wolves everywhere in the United States except Alaska.
Last came the wildlife biologists, in 1958. They wanted only to watch nature take its course. Other people had preceded the scientists—Isle Royale had been a resort in the early 20th century and part of a national park since 1940—but the biologists found their own kind of idyll, full of data to glean from a natural experiment in evolutionary biology.