The 2014 MN moose survey reveals our MN moose population is on a downward trend despite a slight uptick from the 2013 count (2005 = 5,960; 2014 3,220). According to the survey: “The exact causes of moose mortality are not well understood. Previous research has demonstrated that hunting and predation by wolves are not the primary causes of adult deaths [predation by wolves, for example, typically reveal existing latent health complications in the moose selected for kill, ed.], and multiple signs indicate the causes are likely health- and stress-related factors.” The survey also looks at climate change, habitation changes, etc.
During the survey flights, 419 moose were observed . . . After adjusting for sampling and sightability, the estimated population in northeastern Minnesota was at 4,350. The DNR gives population counts various confidence ratings, and the aerial sightings about a 90% confidence (accuracy) level; perhaps thus the discrepancy of the numbers.
The moose survey is a partnership between the Division of Enforcement, the Division of Fish and Wildlife, the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the 1854 Treaty Authority.