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The Moon in the Nautilus ShellDiscordant Harmonies Reconsidered$
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Daniel Botkin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199913916

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199913916.001.0001

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date: 17 September 2021

Moose in the Wilderness

Moose in the Wilderness

The Instability of Populations

(p.42) (p.43) 3 Moose in the Wilderness
The Moon in the Nautilus Shell

Daniel B. Botkin


This chapter focuses on the moose and their wilderness ecosystem at Isle Royale, an island of the Great Lakes located in the northwest of Lake Superior. It first considers the migration of moose around 1900 to one that was then and still is one of the best examples in the world of a wilderness undisturbed by human influence —what many would call the forest primeval. It then looks at the arrival of wolves on the island and whether Isle Royale had reached a steady state in which a balance of nature was achieved in a constant number of moose and wolves and in a constant abundance of the plants the moose ate. It suggests that this balance of nature is consistent with the assumptions of the theory of ecology at the time. The chapter also discusses the notion of stability in relation to the moose population at Isle Royale, along with predator-prey interactions that were exemplified by moose and wolves on the island.

Keywords:   moose, wilderness, ecosystem, Isle Royale, wolves, balance of nature, nature, ecology, population stability, predator-prey interactions

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