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Grand Portage moose count finds numbers stable, animals healthy

Northeastern Minnesota’s moose population dropped some during the past year, but it appears to have leveled off after the big declines of a decade ago.

According to a press release sent to WTIP, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported in mid-February that its annual winter moose estimate came in at 3,030 moose, an 18 percent drop compared to 3,710 moose in 2017. The agency said the decline was statistically insignificant.

The state conducts an aerial survey each winter, flying helicopters over predetermined quadrants to count moose. Biologists enter those numbers into a formula to determine the overall population across the 6,000 square miles of moose range in Cook, Lake and St. Louis counties.

Statistically, the DNR is 90 percent certain that the population is somewhere between 2,320 and 4,140 moose
Meanwhile, a separate moose count took place in northeastern Minnesota in early March on the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Reservation.

Dr. Seth Moore, director of biology and environment for the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, talks with WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs about the 2018 moose count and the status of the iconic species on Grand Portage lands.