Cold Winter Helped Minnesota’s Moose

A bull moose (Photo by Hagerty Ryan, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Moose mortality is down this spring thanks to the very cold winter, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Deaths of collared moose have decreased two-thirds from what they were at this time in 2013.

Wildlife Research Manager Lou Cornicelli told Minnesota Public Radio News that the cold winter meant fewer ticks, and that lots of snow usually causes wolves to prey more on whitetail deer.

Experts now estimate that the state’s moose population is about 4,300 animals, compared to 2,700 in 2013. Researchers have said that last year was probably somewhat of an anomaly due to poor aerial survey conditions.

The population is still thought to be in decline from its 2006 peak of 8,840 moose.

Voyageurs National Park Association also recently reported that aerial surveys indicate the moose population on the park’s Kabetogama Penninsula held steady at about 40 animals.

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