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Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:02 PM

Moose hunt cancelled after rapid population decline

Source: Kare11 News

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The 2013 moose hunting season was canceled by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wednesday after an aerial survey of northeastern Minnesota showed the decline of the state's moose population is dramatically accelerating.

DNR wildlife officials announced today that the northeast population has declined 35 percent from last year. Since 2010, the moose population has declined an overall 52 percent.

In response to the survey results, the DNR will not open a 2013 state moose hunting season or consider opening future seasons unless surveys show the population is recovering.

"The state's moose population has been in decline for years but never at the precipitous rate documented this winter," said Tom Landwehr, DNR commissioner. "This is further and definitive evidence the population is not healthy. It reaffirms the conservation community's need to better understand why this iconic species of the north is disappearing from our state."

Read more: http://www.kare11.com/news/article/1009722/391/Moose-hunt-cancelled-after-rapid-population-decline



My prediction is that moose will be extinct here in MN within 20 years. The climate models are all predicting the North Woods will only get warmer and warmer as global warming accelerates.

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Arrow 40 replies Author Time Post
Reply Moose hunt cancelled after rapid population decline (Original post)
NickB79 Feb 2013 OP
littlemissmartypants Feb 2013 #1
kurtzapril4 Feb 2013 #2
scarletwoman Feb 2013 #3
cali Feb 2013 #16
dflprincess Feb 2013 #40
onehandle Feb 2013 #4
NickB79 Feb 2013 #5
another_liberal Feb 2013 #11
SkyDaddy7 Feb 2013 #13
CreekDog Feb 2013 #32
Crepuscular Feb 2013 #6
happyslug Feb 2013 #8
FarCenter Feb 2013 #7
lonestarnot Feb 2013 #9
another_liberal Feb 2013 #10
azurnoir Feb 2013 #12
SkyDaddy7 Feb 2013 #14
azurnoir Feb 2013 #15
another_liberal Feb 2013 #17
azurnoir Feb 2013 #18
another_liberal Feb 2013 #19
azurnoir Feb 2013 #20
another_liberal Feb 2013 #27
azurnoir Feb 2013 #28
another_liberal Feb 2013 #29
azurnoir Feb 2013 #30
another_liberal Feb 2013 #31
Sunlei Feb 2013 #25
another_liberal Feb 2013 #26
RILib Feb 2013 #21
hatrack Feb 2013 #22
SkyDaddy7 Feb 2013 #36
SkyDaddy7 Feb 2013 #35
CreekDog Feb 2013 #33
azurnoir Feb 2013 #34
NickB79 Feb 2013 #38
Sunlei Feb 2013 #23
Sunlei Feb 2013 #24
avebury Feb 2013 #37
magical thyme Feb 2013 #39

Response to NickB79 (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:04 PM

1. Prion disease?

Deer are infected. Now moose? Love and Peace. lmsp

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Response to NickB79 (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:07 PM

2. Chronic wasting disease?

Can moose get it, too? Those are big losses in a short time frame. I'm glad they cancelled the season for the forseeable future.

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Response to NickB79 (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:13 PM

3. I was listening to a report about this earlier this evening on MPR.

I kept wishing that they would say something about the moose population further north, in Canada. I'd really like to know if the moose populations in North Ontario and Manitoba are also declining, or if they're still at normal levels in their habitats north of Minnesota.

I'm strongly inclined to think that it's climate change that's doing our Minnesota moose in.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:45 AM

16. that seems likely to be at least part of the equation

<snip>

One factor that may tie all of the life-threatening conditions together is warmer temperatures for an animal geared to cooler climates. With no sweat glands and a gut that has to ferment the moose’s woody diet of twigs, the animals have a hard time when temperatures reach more than 80 degrees.

<snip>

Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/lifestyles/recreation/montana-wyoming-trying-to-understand-why-moose-populations-are-plummeting/article_cf1fcb02-9699-56d8-9b34-9b297fd4dc5f.html#ixzz2KD17gq2m

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Response to cali (Reply #16)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 07:48 PM

40. There's also speculation that the warmer winters

are not killing off enough of the parasites the moose may carry.

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Response to NickB79 (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:33 PM

4. Good. nt

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Response to onehandle (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:37 PM

5. Not really. Hunting isn't driving the decline

Hunters only kill 2% of the population each year, and aren't a factor in the decline. The only reason they've cancelled the season is that it's the only thing they have control over, even though it makes almost no difference in the long run.

It's mostly just an indicator of how bad the collapse of MN moose populations has become, and how we have no idea how to stop it.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:35 PM

11. More restrictions . . .

More restrictions on snowmobiles and 4-wheel all-terrain vehicles would surely help. Those things are noisy, smelly and highly disruptive to natural habitats.

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 04:36 AM

13. Even though I understand the fun...

I too agree we need to restrict snow mobiles more than we do...They are hell on wildlife!

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:18 PM

32. Hunting isn't helping if the numbers are going down

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Response to NickB79 (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:49 PM

6. Not CWD

The decline is not due to Chronic Wasting Disease, the Cervid version of prion disease. CWD is not widespread among the deer herd in Minnesota, there has only been one free ranging deer found to test positive for CWD there. The problems that the moose in MN are facing is primarily due to parasitic infestation, although brain worm probably contributes to the overall mortality, as well.

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Response to Crepuscular (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:14 PM

8. No one really knows what is causing the problem


Brain worm seems NOT to be a problem:
http://www.nrri.umn.edu/moose/information/brainworm.html

Ticks are a problem, and with shorter winters will become worse:
http://www.nrri.umn.edu/moose/information/WinterTick.html

Liver flukes are also a problem:
http://www.nrri.umn.edu/moose/information/LiverFluke.html

Between the late 1980s and the early 2000s the density of moose (Alces alces) in northwestern (NW) Minnesota declined precipitously because of high non-hunting mortality and low pregnancy rates. The population decline was correlated with increasing summer temperatures, although year-to-year variation was large. In northeastern (NE) Minnesota, mortality of radiocollared moose is comparable to that seen during the decline of moose in the NW. Population modeling based on mortality and fertility rates indicates a declining population. Recruitment of calves into the population is at low levels, and hunter success has declined over the past decade. These lines of evidence all suggest that the NE population is declining as well. In addition, there is anecdotal evidence of population decline: people are reporting seeing fewer moose than they used to. In response to these developments, the Minnesota State Legislature directed the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to establish a Moose Advisory Committee (MAC) that would make recommendations to the DNR and form the basis for their development of a Moose Management
and Research Plan

http://www.nrri.umn.edu/moose/information/mnmac/MAC_FINAL_ver_1.01.pdf

But Moose are EXPANDING in North Dakota:
http://www.nrri.umn.edu/moose/information/NDmoose.html

Movements into western North Dakota are unusual in one respect: moose are generally thought to be sensitive to high temperatures, and one of the conclusions arising from the northwestern Minnesota moose project was that warming temperatures were correlated with increasing moose mortality. Yet moose in North Dakota are experiencing even warmer temperatures than are seen in Minnesota.


In short no one knows, the expansion in North Dakota undermines any global warming theory.

But Global warming is still a top suspect:
http://www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/National-Wildlife/Animals/Archives/2007/The-Mystery-of-the-Disappearing-Moose.aspx

My guess, the shorter and warmer winters are NOT killing off enough parasites on or that live off the Moose, and thus weaken the Moose more then they did 40 years ago when temperatures were colder.

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Response to NickB79 (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:23 PM

9. Poor things.

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Response to NickB79 (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:30 PM

10. And the damn fools . . .

And the damn fools want us to import the filthiest, most environmentally destructive petroleum available, Canadian Tar Sands Oil, pipe it to Texas for refining and then export most of it to the huge energy markets of the Far East. Thank you Koch brothers, you idiots!

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Response to NickB79 (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:53 PM

12. That is terrible but I doubt hunting was the culprit as it is very restricted here in MN

only I believe 300 permits are issued a year and it is done by lottery and is considered a 'once in a lifetime permit' in other words you can only get 1 permit in your life

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #12)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 04:40 AM

14. Hunting is not the cause...

Where did you hear that? They cancelled the hunt because obviously the herd does not need that added stress. I use to be a hunter & most of us hunters are the original environmentalist...If it were not for hunters the herds would be in far worse shape. Just like wolves, hunters are a much needed balance when herds are healthy. If the herds are not healthy then there is no need for hunters so the call to cancel the season makes perfect sense.

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Response to SkyDaddy7 (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 04:48 AM

15. Minnesota has very strict hunting regulations

and the moose hunt is by lottery only and considered a once in a life time experience and I believe that only 300 permits are issued a year which was I said hunting is not the culprit here

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #15)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:28 AM

17. The snowmobilers . . .

The snowmobilers need to be kept out of wilderness areas, and the four-wheel all terrain vehicles also. Those things are loud, smelly and can devastate wildlife habitats. The moose are most likely too busy fleeing the perceived danger to bother finding a mate or raising their young.

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:34 AM

18. In Mn most off road vehicles on state or federal land

are restricted to designated trails

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ohv/index.html

everything here concerning wilderness areas and forests is very strictly controlled

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:42 AM

19. Fewer available . . .

Fewer available trails, then, would be the way to proceed. It's hard to overestimate the impact of those vehicles on wildlife.

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #19)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:46 AM

20. some of them are closed

I was talking to someone about this and it was suggested that the resurgent wolf population may be playing a role although not the sole cause

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #20)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:02 PM

27. That could be true . . .

That could be true, especially if the animals are worn-out and highly stressed from being chased by wingnuts on snowmobiles. You may have to choose between placating the off-road enthusiasts and saving your moose. I hope you choose the latter.

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #27)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 03:36 PM

28. well to be entirely honest

I can easily chose the latter because although I've lived most of life in Minnesota I have never been on a snowmobile and I'm not Scandinavian either

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #28)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:06 PM

29. Now, now . . .

Now, now . . . let's not start to pile on the poor "Norwegian bachelor farmers."

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #29)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:11 PM

30. lol have you heard the saying that

Norwegian humor is an oxymoron ?

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #30)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:18 PM

31. No, I hadn't heard that one.

But you can bet I'm going to use it!

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 10:14 AM

25. should go back to the federal rules nothing with a motor on most public lands

States laws are not enough, as so many states are corrupt to their lobbyists interests.

Some idiots chase wildlife. In winter nothing is worse/more stressfull for domestic or wildlife to run off winter fat reserves, be terrorised.

In summertime, in drought areas people will drive those ATVs and their cars! off the paths and spark fires. Some remote desert areas are so fragile, easy to damage we can still see tracks from wagon wheels.

Lobbyists have chipped away on protections for our public lands. That land and those wildlife belong to all us Americans.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #25)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 11:59 AM

26. I agree . . .

I agree, that should be done.

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Response to SkyDaddy7 (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:59 AM

21. whenever I hear the argument

 

that hunting helps a species by removing the weak, I wonder when hunters are going to offer their services to the local hospitals to thin out the patient population.

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Response to RILib (Reply #21)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 09:07 AM

22. Wolves hunting help the species by removing the weak, humans not so much . . .

Many (though not all) hunters tend to pick the biggest bulls if they're going for trophies. Not surprisingly, this doesn't particularly help the species, since males in prime reproductive years get culled regularly.

Naturally, other hunters may not care if they're just getting their meat for the winter, but there's that tendency to pick the "biggest and baddest" individuals as targets.

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Response to hatrack (Reply #22)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 06:24 AM

36. Obviously, you don't know how...

properly managed hunts are conducted. There are countless ways to manage a heard or population of wildlife & there are always wildlife biologist who decide how this should be done. (How many of each sex can be shot & the minimum size of males, etc.,) Herds are managed first & foremost for the health of the overall population but herds can also be managed to produce trophy animals while maintaining the health of the herd.

Plus, shooting the "biggest & baddest" is so much harder than anyone who has never tried to hunt/monitor/photograph wildlife could possibly imagine.

Again, state populations are monitored by wildlife biologists to ensure the health of the herd...This is precisely why the hunt was cancelled. Some hunts require hunters to bring their kill to the on site biologist so they can remove jawbones & do a battery of test on them to monitor for disease, etc.,

If hunts were simply start killing anything you want on this date then there would be no hunting before long because there would be nothing to hunt.

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Response to RILib (Reply #21)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 06:03 AM

35. Do what?!?!

Maybe you should join the local Nazi Party with views like that! DISGUSTING!

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #12)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:21 PM

33. how can you support 300 permits with a population of less than 3000?

how can any sensible person support that?

when a species is on the brink, hunting at previous levels, which previously may not have been harmful, could be devastating to a small population.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #33)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 11:57 PM

34. well that's why the hunt was canceled

because the moose population is so low, in the past though it was one moose per permit I think, and not all 300 issued were going to bag a moose either. From what I've been told it's no easy trick moose prefer boggy swampy areas and they weight a lot, adult males 1500lbs and females 1000lbs once you shoot one you have to get it out, I've been told that requires a heavy duty 4 wheel drive type vehicle with winch or something close to that. All in all it's not as easy as deer hunting

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #33)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:16 AM

38. 82 moose were killed out of 300 permits issued last year

Per the local news reports.

Plus, since they only issue permits for males (and moose don't pair up), removing them likely had no impact on population numbers.

The moose are breeding well; that's been established by reports of numerous calves every spring. The main problem is that the young aren't making it through to adulthood.

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Response to NickB79 (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 09:28 AM

23. any species that has only 1 or 2 young a year can go extinct very fast. CWD and Fencing.

Lack of enough range,fencing and cattle guards have a huge effect on- especially the young.

An adult can jump a fence, young get caught up in barbed wire. Or worse, a person I know did pictures of a moose and her 2 babies born in their yard. They watched them for about a week. Then the mother moved on hopped the back fence..babies tried to follow and hop the fence..both got belly impaled on the steel posts.

Seen plenty of pictures of the remains of wildlife that tried to walk across those on the ground cattle guards and they break their legs.

Even our BLM when they round-up wild horses. They use helicoptors to panic and run the horses. They run them right over cattle guards and have their ground crew use chain saws to cut off the legs of horses that get stuck in cattle guards.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #23)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 09:30 AM

24. reply to myself..domestic dogs aswell, big problem..they chase livestock and wildlife-fences/roads.

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Response to NickB79 (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 07:30 AM

37. I always felt bad about moose hunts.

Several years ago they started limited moose hunts in Maine and it was like shooting fish in a barrel. If you were lucky enough to get a permit it was not all the difficult to get a moose. There are certain places where you can sit and wait for a moose to come along (like logging roads) and just wait for one to come along. They had never developed any wariness of people and hunters. I have been gone from Maine for quite a few years so I don't know what it is like now. But back then it just didn't seem very sporting.

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Response to NickB79 (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 05:29 PM

39. in Maine, they've fingered the increase in ticks as a major factor

in declining moose populationsThe warmer winters here have enabled ticks to flourish. I can't remember how many ticks they were finding on moose now, but it was easily in the thousands. Baby moose here are severely weakened and dying literally due to loss of blood to ticks!

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