Dispatch: DNR tracks dwindling moose

  • Updated: August 28, 2014 - 9:39 AM

This May 2014 photo provided by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, shows a days-old moose calf fitted with an collar that expands as the animal grows taken near Isabella, Minn. Wildlife biologists trying to find answers about northeastern Minnesotaís declining moose population were dismayed at how many moose mothers would abandon their calves shortly after researchers attached GPS tracking collars to the newborns. Theyíre now cautiously hopeful that theyíve found a solution. (AP Photo/Minnesota Department of Natural Resources) ORG XMIT: MIN2014060815050919

“There are two cutting-edge DNR moose research projects currently going on in northeastern Minnesota. We started out by getting more than 150 moose cows and calves GPS-collared. With global positioning systems (GPS), we can track their movements via satellite on a computer screen. We’re looking at habitat use, disease, predation, climate change, food habits, even deer-moose interactions. The moose population has dropped from about 8,340 to 4,350 in the last eight years. Is there some kind of underlying health issue? Can we change their future? We have theories; it seems to be multiple causes. But at this point, there is no smoking gun.”

Tom Rusch, Tower area wildlife manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Rusch will host a moose-calling contest and discuss moose research at 1 and 3 p.m. today at the DNR building at the Minnesota State Fair.

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