Survey shows Minnesota’s moose population remains stable

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — An aerial survey of Minnesota’s moose population shows that moose numbers have remained relatively stable for the ninth consecutive year, the Department of Natural Resources said Monday.

Still, the moose population is at risk in the long term, as reproductive success remains low.

This winter, the DNR estimated the moose population to be 3,150 animals, or range between 2,400 and 4,320. Due to the variance in this type of annual population estimate, this year’s estimate doesn’t suggest a decline from last year’s estimate of 4,180.

The survey provides an estimate because biologists can’t see or count every moose across the 6000-square mile (9656-square kilometer) survey area. They survey a portion of the moose range every year to come up with an estimate.

The DNR said the stability is good news, but Minnesota moose are still at risk. The moose population has declined from an estimated 8,840 in 2006. Low reproductive success and continued deaths from brainworm and other diseases make it difficult for the population to recover.

The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the 1854 Treaty Authority contributed funding and personnel for the annual survey.