An interesting article by Chris Peterson of the Hungry Horse News concerning the ongoing Moose population study . . .
Several years ago, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks began hearing from sportsmen that there didn’t seem to be as many moose in the woods as there used to be. So FWP decided to embark on a 10-year study of moose in Montana.
Moose have seen marked declines in other regions of the Lower 48. Populations have fallen so dramatically in states like Minnesota that a subspecies of moose there has been petitioned for listing under the Endangered Species Act.
Five years in, biologist Jesse Newby has begun to unlock some of the secrets of Montana’s moose, but there’s still plenty learn as to why some populations are doing OK, while others are in decline.
As mentioned in previous posts here, here and here, Montana’s Moose population is declining and no one is quite sure why . . .
If you went hunting last year, the people at the check station who asked if you had seen any moose weren’t just making conversation.
Those drive-by surveys are part of an ongoing study by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to find out why the massive ungulates have been disappearing from the landscape over the past few decades.
Jesse Newby, a wildlife research technician for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, said the statewide study launched in 2013. He and wildlife biologist Nick DeCesare use aerial flights and radio tracking as their primary tools to monitor moose populations in the Cabinet Mountains, the Big Hole Valley and the Rocky Mountain Front.
An interesting interplay between genetic diversity and climate change . . .
During their annual Winter Study at Isle Royale National Park, scientists from Michigan Technological University counted nine wolves organized into one breeding pack and a second small group that is a remnant of a formerly breeding pack.
In the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Study’s annual report released today, the researchers say that over the past three years, they have tallied the lowest numbers of wolves ever: nine in 2011-12, eight in 2012-13 and nine in 2013-14. During the same period, predation rates — the proportion of the moose population killed by wolves — also dropped to the lowest ever recorded, while the number of moose doubled, to approximately 1,050 moose.
Wolves are the only predators of moose on the remote island national park in northwestern Lake Superior. The moose population has been increasing because wolf predation has been so low.
The decline in the Moose population is causing concern and triggering a series of studies in manyparts of the country, including an ongoing effort in the Cabinets . . .
State wildlife researchers darted and captured seven cow moose in the eastern stretch of the Cabinet Mountains south of Libby this week and fitted them with radio collars as part of an ongoing research project.
According to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Research Technician Jesse Newby, biologists are looking at disease load and other measures of the animals’ health, reproductive rates, and calf survival for the collared moose. This brings the total to 16 moose that are radio-collared in the East Cabinets area.
Hunters in the East Cabinets consistently harvest 15-25 moose annually, and concerns about shrinking moose populations have led to a study on disease, parasites, predation, lack of logging, and poor habitat.
As mentioned earlier, there’s a growing concern about declining moose populations nation-wide. Montana is now well into the second year of a ten-year study on moose population numbers . . .
The number of moose permits issued in the past five years in Montana has reached lows not seen since the 1950s, spurred by concerns that the gangly creatures’ populations are plummeting.
Those concerns have prompted a 10-year study of moose in Montana, in which state scientists hope to learn more about impacts to them in the Treasure State.
This year, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks offered 368 moose licenses for sale. While the total of available licenses is up from 347 last year, that number is down from 594 issued in 2006 and well below the high of 836 moose licenses issued in 1962…