Ecology

This passage talks about the unique ecosystem on Isle Royale, located in northwestern Lake Superior.

Lexile Level: 1380L

Categories: People & Places Animals & Nature


In northwestern Lake Superior, between Canada and the Keweenaw Peninsula of upper Michigan, lies a 45-mile long island called Isle Royale. A popular destination for hikers and backpackers, Isle Royale also provides a natural laboratory for studying the dynamics of predator and prey relationships. Scientists have spent many years studying the ecological relationships between the moose and the wolves that inhabit Isle Royale. They have learned many interesting things about how these two groups of animals depend on one another for survival. Scientists know that before the wolf population was established on Isle Royale, the moose herd was subject to periodic massive die-offs that resulted when herd size exceeded the available food supply. The wolves help keep the moose herd from growing so large that it once again is subject to massive starvation. Today, both moose and wolf populations are relatively stable on Isle Royale, coexisting in what the scientists call a dynamic equilibrium.


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