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Ontario and Michigan Announce Wolf Relocation Initiative

News Release

Ontario and Michigan Announce Wolf Relocation Initiative

Office of the Premier

TORONTO — Today, Premier Doug Ford and Governor of Michigan Rick Snyder announced a partnership to move wolves from Ontario to Michigan's Isle Royale National Park as part of a mutual commitment to conservation. Through this initiative, Ontario will help Michigan increase its wolf population to restore balance in the ecosystem. 

"Ontario and Michigan have a long history of friendship, an abundance of natural beauty and a proud tradition of working together to conserve our natural ecosystems," said Ford. "We all have an important role to play in protecting the environment and we're happy to do our part to help Michigan's wildlife thrive."  

Wolves play a critical role in managing the moose population in Isle Royale National Park, preventing overgrazing of vegetation and sustaining the ecosystem dynamics. With very few wolves remaining at Michigan's Isle Royale National Park and natural population recovery unlikely, Ontario has agreed to move several Ontario wolves during the winter months.

"Michigan is proud to be part of this international effort to return a viable wolf population to Isle Royale, and we appreciate the partnership provided by Premier Ford in the effort," Gov. Rick Snyder said. "This project will help the National Park Service restore ecological balance to the island park and preserve this wild and special place for generations to come."

In addition, Isle Royale Park Superintendent Phyllis Green stated, "The National Park Service appreciates the support of Premier Ford and Governor Snyder in helping restore predator-prey dynamics to Isle Royale National Park's ecosystem. In addition to individual wolves from Minnesota and Michigan, bringing Ontario wolves to the park provides the best mix of genetic sources for the reintroduced wolf population. This collaborative effort will help ensure the start of a robust population of wolves on Isle Royale."

Quick Facts

  • In 2017, two-way trade between Ontario and Michigan totalled CAD$84 billion (US$65 billion).
  • Isle Royale National Park is an island archipelago located in the northwestern portion of Lake Superior with limited human influences.
  • In June 2018, the United States National Park Service (USNPS) made a decision to restore the Isle Royale National Park wolf population over three to five years by translocating wolves.
  • As part of this initiative, USNPS is also obtaining wolves from within the United States.

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