26 Feb 2011, 12:57pm
Deer, Elk, Bison Jackalopes Moose Wildlife Agencies Wolves
by admin

Moose Decline in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) has released a Moose Advisory Committee report and a 2011 moose survey [here] that avers that “Northwestern Minnesota’s moose population has declined from a population of several thousand in the late 1980s to fewer than 100.”

In NE Minnesota the moose population has dropped 25% over the last seven years:

Figure 2. Point estimates, 90% confidence intervals, and trend line of estimated moose numbers in northeastern Minnesota, 2005-2011.

and the cow/calf ratio has dropped to below 10%.

Figure 3. Estimated calf:cow ratio and % calves from aerial moose surveys in northeastern Minnesota.

As a rule of thumb, cow/calf ratios must be above 20% to maintain population levels. The current ratio portends continued moose decline. Indeed, the report states, “Estimated recruitment from this year’s survey was at an all time low.”

Surprisingly, the Moose Advisory Committee (MAC) report makes absolutely no mention of wolves or other predators. None, zip, zero, nada. This despite the fact that there are now over 3,500 wolves in Minnesota [here], ten times the population in 1974.

Instead, the MAC recommends reducing deer populations because, they contend, deer carry parasites that impact moose. While this may be true, the MN deer population has also declined 50% or more since 2003, in part because the MDNR instituted an antlerless deer hunt (harvesting does as well as bucks), and in part because of a burgeoning population of wolves in Minnesota.

Another curious statement in the MAC report is, “Due to aggressive harvest management and increased winter severity in 2007-08 and 2008-09 the deer population is likely in decline at this time.” Not only are wolves not mentioned, colder winters are blamed for a declining deer population — a complete 180° reversal from their chronic moaning about global warming! Furthermore, if deer populations have been declining, how can they be blamed for increasing mortality and decline in moose populations over the same time period?

A different MDNR report from Dec 2009 [here] states:

There’s no question wolves in Minnesota rely on white-tailed deer as their primary prey source. Based on research in Minnesota indicating that wolves require 15-19 adult-sized deer biomass-equivalent per year (per wolf), an estimated population of 3,000 wolves in Minnesota take approximately 45,000 to 57,000 deer per year. Wolves also prey on moose in portions of the Superior National Forest and the Boundary Water Canoe Area in Minnesota where deer tend to be less abundant. … Considering an annual population estimate of 450,000 deer residing within all of Minnesota’s wolf range, the annual estimate of 45,000-57,000 deer taken by wolves, represents about 10-13% of that deer population.

Why the MAC report failed to mention wolves is anybody’s guess. I hesitate to ascribe motives. But the fact that they did not mention wolves at all is sufficient to condemn and discard the MAC report entirely on the basis of gross incompetence.

Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune reported last week:

Minnesota moose numbers continue to decline

Star Tribune, February 18, 2023 [here]

Moose in northeastern Minnesota continue their population decline, the Department of Natural Resources said on Thursday.

Not only were moose numbers down from a year ago — 5,500 to 4,900 — but an aerial survey showed the proportion of cows accompanied by calves also fell.

“These indices, along with results from research using radio-collared moose, all indicate that the population has been declining in recent years,” said Dr. Mark Lenarz, DNR forest wildlife group leader.

The DNR has recorded a downward trend of northeastern Minnesota moose dating to 2005. Along with the fallen calf-to-cow ratio, the bull-to-cow ratio also has declined, to 64 bulls per 100 cows. …

Non-hunting mortality of northeastern Minnesota moose fell between 2002 and 2008 at a rate higher than in moose populations outside of Minnesota, the DNR said. Reasons for the falloff are unknown. emphasis added

Ignorance is bliss in Minnesota.

The inimitable Jim Beers sent the Star Tribune the following letter:

A letter to the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Subject: Wolf Propaganda Par Excellence

What a coincidence! On the same day you report that Minnesota moose numbers are declining precipitously and that moose hunting permits are to be halved; you report about the dramatic upswing in Minnesota and Wisconsin wolves killing livestock, dogs, and beginning to attack people.

Of course the “experts” tell us (and you) that “wolves don’t attack people” and moose are disappearing because of global warming and all those dogs and livestock don’t “belong” out “there” anyway. The associated fact that grouse hunters and rabbit hunters (they use dogs) are also disappearing because of video games and obesity is another favorite canard of the University and government types as well.

Adding insult to injury you report this propaganda as “fact” and then cap it off with the biggest lie of all; that “delisting” will return authority over wolves to the state and the current state wildlife “non-managers” that will miraculously make everything better.

The truth is that “delisting” is a wispy dream. The feds will step back in at a moment’s notice for reasons only they understand. The courts will reinstitute federal control when the next environmental lawsuit gets into the “right” (or left as the case may be) court. The state will go along with the desires of the feds and their cohorts as they have for 40 years. Nothing short of a serious amendment of the Endangered Species Act will ever restore State (and Local) authority over these very dangerous and destructive animals.

The only real danger you failed to mention is the future and real danger to sheep. That is the sheep in wolf country that read this drivel and believe it!

Jim Beers, 24 February 2023

The truth is that even if wolf management were to fall on the weak shoulders of the MDNR, they have proved themselves utterly incompetent at wildlife management for moose, deer, and everything else. State governments are as corrupt and incompetent as the federal governments, especially in states like Minnesota and Oregon.

 
  • Colloquia

  • Commentary and News

  • Contact

  • Follow me on Twitter

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Meta