What's New More bad news for Isle Royale wolves The Times Herald (10/23) Another season at Isle Royale National Park will end in two weeks. As the last boat pulls away to cross Lake Superior, it will leave behind an endangered population of wolves which, for only the second time in more than four decades, has apparently failed to reproduce.
State funding good news for Lake Erie islands, Lonz Port Clinton News Herald (6/6) A famous former winery on Lake Erie’s Middle Bass Island, Ohio, is getting $6 million in renovations and more island state parks will receive campsite and mooring improvements, according to Ohio park officials.
Moose prosper while wolves struggle on Isle Royale Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (4/3) Wildlife researchers who spent the winter on an island in Lake Superior report that Isle Royale's moose population is booming while wolf numbers remain near an all-time low.
Wildlife quandary: Should Lake Superior wolves be saved? The Ottawa Citizen (6/3) On an island in Lake Superior, biologists are wondering whether to save some very special wolves from extinction by inbreeding, or let nature take its course. Behind this is the bigger question: What's really natural, anyway?
Paddling, picnic highlight estuarine resources Superior Telegram (9/21) In honor of the St. Louis River freshwater estuary and estuaries around the country, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration dedicated Sept. 29 as National Estuaries Day.
Tours teach lake history, research TheNews-Messenger (5/16) Tourists at Put-in-Bay can learn about Ohio history and the important Lake Erie research conducted at The Ohio State's Stone Laboratory by taking a tour of Gibraltar Island this summer.
The 35,000 islands of the Great Lakes form a superlative natural system. In fact, the largest lake island in the world is Manitoulin in Lake Huron (Ontario), covering 1,068 square miles. Due to their isolation, islands have unique properties warranting special attention and protection. The properties of Great Lakes islands include high proportions of endemic and endangered species, fish spawning areas, open and perched dunes, and nesting colonial waterbirds and migratory waterfowl. These islands contain many critical natural features, cultural resources, and recreational opportunities that, despite being threatened by pressures of unplanned development and habitat destruction, have yet to be holistically addressed.
More Great Lakes island facts:
The Thirty Thousand Islands of Georgian Bay, Ontario, actually include around 17,500 islands.
The Thousand Islands between New York and Ontario number about 1,500.
Lake of the Woods, shared by Ontario, Minnesota and Manitoba, is said to contain 14,000 islands.
Finland claims to have more islands than any other country, with a stated total of 179,584. However, Canada probably exceeds this number with its immense areas of island-strewn lakes and thousands of miles of rocky coastline.
The largest island created by human action is the Ile Rene-Lavasseur, a 780-square-mile island in Manicouagan Reservoir, Quebec. The reservoir was formed by the damming of a river to flood a 210 million-year-old meteor crater. The crater's central uplift became the island.
References: Great Lakes Island Project, Michigan State University, 1996; Josh Calder, Island Information
General Resources Great Lakes Islands Committee U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service View the The Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem Team's overall assessment of the islands for protection and restoration efforts along with informational factsheets and helpful links.
Islands of the Great Lakes U.S. EPA's Great Lakes National Program Office A team has been identifying Priority Island Conservation Areas (PICAs). These PICAs will be part of the forthcoming Framework for the Binational Conservation of the Great Lakes Islands, which will help island managers, owners, and policymakers prioritize and target island conservation actions.