DNR drafts plan to study decreasing moose population

A moose near the BWCA
A moose wades in a small pond in Superior National Forest near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Minn. A special advisory committee last month warned that climate change is a long-term threat for the estimated 7,600 moose in Minnesota, nearly all in the northeastern forests of the state.
Jim Mone/Associated Press

A moose management and research plan that lays out several strategies for reversing a steep decline in the state's moose population has been drafted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Over the past two decades moose have nearly disappeared from northwest Minnesota, and now the northeast part of the state is also seeing a huge drop. No one knows why, said Lou Cornicelli, DNR Big Game Program coordinator.

"What we're losing in the population isn't nearly what you would expect in a healthy moose population," Cornicelli said.

The plan calls for additional research, will eliminate moose hunting if populations drop to certain thresholds, and suggests ways to minimize herds of white tailed deer, which carry a parasite that kills moose. The public has until the end of September to comment on the plan.

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