Hunters Assisting Moose Research

gunflint-trail-moose-1-june-150x150This fall, Minnesota’s moose hunters are helping researchers understand what’s ailing the state’s moose population.

The Timberjay has the story HERE.

Moose hunters are volunteering tissue and blood samples from their kills to help Minnesota Department of Natural Resources veterinarians understand why Minnesota’s population of moose is declining. The samples provide a control sample for researchers to compare against moose which die by other means.

DNR researchers are impressed with the cooperation shown by Minnesota hunters in the sampling program — more than 90% of hunters harvesting moose this fall have participated in the effort.

While the Minnesota moose population’s decline has puzzled researchers, evidence points to multiple factors for the animal’s plight. Brainworm and liver flukes, along with diseases like West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis are considered among the culprits. Research has found that although brainworms in the moose population is relatively rare, liver damage from flukes — passed from whitetail deer to moose via land snails — is widespread.

We reported on the decline in Northeastern Minnesota moose population earlier this year HERE.

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