Bitter cold doesn't stop moose trackers

  • Updated: February 2, 2013 - 7:24 PM

Old Man Winter's recent jabs haven't deterred state researchers from starting a project to figure out why moose are dying at high rates.

Department of Natural Resources researchers bundled up to attach GPS tracking collars to the animals starting on Jan. 20 near Grand Marais. Windchills the next day hit 54 below there, the department said. They continued working near Isabella last week when windchills again hit negative double digits. Work stopped at times for safety reasons, because of fog, sleet and air temperatures lower than 20 below.

Still, by Friday's end, researchers had managed to collar 59 moose out of 100 total that they hope to track. Officials hope the tracking will help them understand why 20 percent of adult moose die each year.

"This is Minnesota at its finest," DNR spokesman Chris Niskanen said. "Our researchers are some tough men and women, and they put on their warmest clothes and they go out there and they're working in some of these really, really difficult conditions, but it's work that they really enjoy ... for a really good cause."

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