Moose News on the Gunflint Trail
We’ve been seeing way more moose this year than we have in the past few years at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters. It’s been super fun to see them swimming and wading in the water and walking along the Gunflint Trail. The number of sightings isn’t close to what we saw ten or fifteen years ago but at least we’re seeing them again.
Researchers have noted the most moose sightings have been in areas where there have been recent fires. Everyone knows we’ve had our fair share of fires so it is only fair we get our fair share of moose.
What else are researchers saying? The good news is they have finally admitted wolves are killing moose. The bad news is their radio collar studies were not successful. Over 1/3 of the collars either quit working or fell off prematurely.
According to a recent article…
- Of 173 moose that were captured and fitted with GPS-transmitting collars from 2013 to 2015, here’s what happened to them:
- • 28 moose are still alive with collars that are working.
- • 53 are believed to be alive but their collars have stopped working.
- • 23 are presumed to be still alive but their collars fell off and their status is unknown.
- • 12 died immediately after being collared so were not part of the mortality study.
- • 57 died with working collars and are the basis for the mortality study data — the moose where cause of death is known.
The collar project is almost complete so hopefully they can focus research on managing the wolf population and determining the cause of parasites because the parasites are what cause infections and poor nutrition making it more difficult for the moose to survive winter and protect their young, resulting in the decline of the moose population.