The Department of Natural Resources’s recent announcement that the moose will be listed as a “species of special concern” comes with a certain irony: the lowest designation on the Endangered Species List does not limit hunting of the animal.
According to the Regional Roundup at the Pilot Independent, moose hunting will only be impacted if the species moves up the list to “endangered” or “threatened”.
A Duluth News Tribune article supports protecting moose, citing “the moose’s dramatic and concerning years-long decline in numbers and a desire among Minnesotans to save the creature for future generations” as reasons to support increased protection. It suggests that the listing is a signal from the DNR that it’s paying attention to the decline. Yet it also assures readers that the moose hunt is not in jeopardy at this time.
That’s not enough protection for some people. A Brainer Dispatch opinion piece calls on the DNR to cancel the 2013 moose hunt. Keith Hanson writes, “Yes, I understand that the moose herd has been decimated by growing wolf packs, parasites, diseases and warmer weather. However, closing the moose hunt for a year or two is going to offer an opportunity for scientists and game management to study possible remedies the moose faces in our great state.”
So far, however, there are no indications that the hunt wil be canceled.