International Falls, MN (NNCNOW.com) ---- Wildlife biologists at Voyageurs National Park recently completed an aerial survey of the park's moose population and found a relatively stable population exists.
The 2013 population was estimated to be 46 moose, similar to estimates from 2009-2011. The calf:cow ratio and the percent of calves in the population were relatively high in 2013.
Biologists concluded that the low-density population that exists in Voyageurs National Park at this time is relatively stable, especially when considered against the backdrop of the rapidly declining population in northeastern Minnesota moose range. The northeastern Minnesota moose population declined 65% from 2009-2013.
Voyageurs National Park, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota-Duluth and U.S. Geological Survey began intensive monitoring and research of moose in and adjacent to the park in 2009 to better understand local moose population dynamic.
The moose population was surveyed within the boundaries of Voyageurs National Park from February 20-February 28, 2013. It is not clear why the moose population in Voyageurs National Park appears stable when nearby populations continue to decline. There are potential effects of large scale impacts such as climate warming or disease outbreaks that could threaten the long-term persistence of the isolated moose population in the park.
In addition to the monitoring, Voyageurs National is investigating other aspects of moose ecology in collaboartion with UMD, Lakehead University and the USGS. Other studies include how moose behave in response to high temperatures and other weather events, how and why moose use wetlands for foraging and temperature regulation, and the interactions of moose, deer, beavers and wolves.
Posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati