Our very own Pluie: Alice the Moose
Perhaps the most famous wolf in North America is "Pluie," a five-year-old female gray wolf that was radio-collared in a downpour (pluie means rain in French) in Alberta's Peter Lougheed Provincial Park in 1991. For two years, she defied scientists' expectations of wildlife migration, travelling 100,000 sq km, through two Canadian provinces and three American states — an area 15 times larger than Banff National Park and 10 times larger than Yellowstone National Park. Pluie was legally killed, with her mate and three pups, by a hunter's bullet, but not before she'd taught scientists that their preferred mode of conservation — protected areas with definable and enforceable boundaries — is not adequate to protect her or other wild-ranging species. Her legacy inspired the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y).
A2A has its own animal inspiration: a 700-pound female moose that was collared and released into the Huntington Wildlife Forest, in New York's Adirondack Park, in 1998. "Alice," as she was named by her researcher-guardians, also travelled for two years, leaving her home park in 2000 and heading for the Canada-U.S. border. That spring, she became a Canadian citizen when she swam across the St. Lawrence River (and walked across Ontario's four-lane Hwy. 401). By winter, Alice had crossed into Algonquin Provincial Park, completing a journey that spanned 570 km and an international border. Her remains were found in 2001, in Algonquin's eastern end; she died of unknown causes. Like Pluie, Alice demonstrated the need for connected pathways for wildlife to roam.
By walking A2A, Alice proved how critical this linkage could be to migrating wildlife — and called us to action in protecting and restoring it, so other roaming wildlife might follow in her footsteps.
Learn more about connectivity and wildlife corridors.
Learn more about the projects we're working on with our partners and landowners to restore connectivity to A2A, and get involved.
Account of Alice's journey that appeared in a SUNY-ESF newsletter, in fall/winter 2001.
Map of Alice's Journey