Minnesota’s Annual Moose Survey Completed; Results Not Yet Available

Glenn DelGiudice of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and former DNR employee Erika Butler use an ultrasound to check the thickness of body fat on the rump of a tranquilized moose in Lake County in 2011 as part of a research project to determine why Minnesota’s moose population is declining. (News Tribune file photo)

Biologists with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the 1854 Treaty Authority completed their aerial survey of northeastern Minnesota’s moose population on Jan. 18, said Tom Rusch, DNR area wildlife manager at Tower. The survey started Jan. 2.

The DNR and the bands conduct the survey each winter to determine the status of Minnesota’s moose population which has declined dramatically since 2006, from about 9,000 animals down to about 2,700. In February 2013, the DNR cancelled the state’s planned fall moose hunt. All three bands — Fond du Lac, Grand Portage and Bois Forte — also cancelled their moose hunts last year.

Results from this year’s aerial moose survey are likely to be announced near the end of February, Rusch said.