Minnesota moose holding their own

DULUTH -- Minnesota’s moose population continues to hold its own, with slightly increased numbers this winter compared to 2018.

Four moose photographed during the Minnesota DNR's 2019 winter survey conducted in January. These moose were in the Pagami Creek fire area that burned in a 2011 wildlfire, creating perfect moose habitat. Photo by Mike Schrage

Four moose photographed during the Minnesota DNR's 2019 winter survey conducted in January. These moose were in the Pagami Creek fire area that burned in a 2011 wildlfire, creating perfect moose habitat. Photo by Mike Schrage

That was the report Monday, March 11, from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, which counts this as the eighth straight year of low but relatively stable numbers for the big forest animal.

That lower but stable period comes after the state’s moose numbers crashed rapidly, from a modern high of 8,840 moose estimated in 2006 to just 2,700 in 2013.

This year’s aerial survey of several sections of the state’s prime moose range — namely across Cook, Lake and northern St. Louis counties — accounted for an estimated 4,180 moose total. That’s up considerably from last year’s estimate of 3,030. But because there’s such a large range of variability in the survey, the increase is considered statistically insignificant.

The DNR said there's a 90 percent certainty that the population lies somewhere between 3,250 and 5,580 animals. This year’s midpoint estimate is still less than half the moose counted in 2006.

With Minnesota moose already at the southern edge of their habitat, scientists aren’t encouraged about the animal’s future here in a warming world. 

For full article, go to: Perham Focus

Source, image(s), credits & more: Perham Focus | John Myers / Forum News Service