The Shrinking Moose of Isle Royale
From Michigan Tech University:
Climate change and predator-prey dynamics with wolves make for smaller moose. Ecologists compare skull measurements spanning four decades gathered at Isle Royale National Park.
Researchers from Michigan Technological University know the smartest way to know a moose is by its brain. Specifically, skull measurements reveal information about body size, physiology and the conditions of a moose’s early life. Put together, measurements through time reveal the health of a population and even changes in their environment.
For the booming moose population of Isle Royale, a key species in the world’s longest running predator-prey study on the island, skulls have shrunk by about 16 percent over a 40-year period. The results were published recently in Global Change Biology (DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14015).