HOWL Colorado

Moose Die-Off Alarms Scientists

CHOTEAU, Mont. — Across North America — in places as far-flung as Montana and British Columbia, New Hampshire and Minnesota — moose populations are in steep decline. And no one is sure why.

Twenty years ago, Minnesota had two geographically separate moose populations. One of them has virtually disappeared since the 1990s, declining to fewer than 100 from 4,000.

The other population, in northeastern Minnesota, is dropping 25 percent a year and is now fewer than 3,000, down from 8,000. (The moose mortality rate used to be 8 percent to 12 percent a year.) As a result, wildlife officials have suspended all moose hunting.

Here in Montana, moose hunting permits fell to 362 last year, from 769 in 1995.

“Something’s changed,” said Nicholas DeCesare, a biologist with the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks who is counting moose in this part of the state — one of numerous efforts across the continent to measure and explain the decline. “There’s fewer moose out there, and hunters are working harder to find them.”

What exactly has changed remains a mystery. Several factors are clearly at work. But a common thread in most hypotheses is climate change…

Read the entire article on nytimes.com: Moose Die-Off Alarms Scientists

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Copyright © HOWL Colorado. All rights reserved.
info@howlcolorado.org