Study Shows Wolves Directly Impact Minnesota Moose Numbers

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Moose populations in far northeastern Minnesota have been taking it on the chin in recent years. At one time a trip to the Boundary Waters Wilderness and surrounding Superior National Forest regularly resulted in close encounters with the largest member of the deer family—but no more. A sighting of this iconic animal of the Northwoods is now a noteworthy event, and biologists are only just beginning to understand what caused the rapid decline.

According to scientists with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and with the U.S. Geological Survey, moose numbers have fallen by nearly 60 percent in the last decade and have been declining slowly for much longer. There are several reasons for the loss of moose in this wild boreal forest abounding with lakes and streams and bogs, but a new report from well-known wolf biologist Dr. David Mech, and co-authors John Frieberg and Shannon Barber-Meyer, shows a direct correlation between the rise in gray wolf numbers and the decline of moose in a long-term study conducted in an 800-square-mile section of the state near Ely.<<<Read More>>>