Researchers in northern Wisconsin have placed 25 trail cameras on Madeline Island to gather a better picture of the diversity of wildlife on Lake Superior’s Apostle Islands.
“We kept looking to Madeline Island with this big question mark,” said Erik Olson, leader of the Wild Madeline research project and natural resources professor at Northland College in Ashland.
Olson, along with 10 undergraduate students, scouted out open areas with low human traffic in the Madeline Island Wilderness Preserve and the Big Bay State Park to place the cameras, some of which included a scent to lure the more elusive species, like carnivores.
Madeline Island, the largest of the Apostle Islands, offers a special perspective on wildlife tracking, not only because of its size and proximity to the mainland, but because it boasts the most human interference with its abundance of roads and tourism.
“Those differences allow us to look at how wildlife would be impacted by some of the island’s characteristics … and also how human development and road networks might also influence the wildlife ecology of these systems,” Olson said.