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Moose population continues decline in Northeast

A moose on the road, photographed by Stephan Hoglund
A moose on the road, photographed by Stephan Hoglund

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says new data shows the moose population in the northeastern part of the state continues to decline.

Aerial survey results released on Monday also show the proportion of cows accompanied by calves continued a 13-year decline, dropping to a record low of 28 calves per 100 cows.

Based on the survey, wildlife researchers estimate there were 5,500 moose in northeastern Minnesota last year. That estimate is not considered statistically different from the 2008 estimate of 7,600.

Experts caution that making accurate population estimates is difficult, but the DNR says it reinforces the inference that the moose population is dropping.

The reasons for a decline are not well understood, but researchers suspect warmer temperatures are a factor.