Moose Advisory Committee Report

Bull moose wading in a northeastern Minnesota lake near the Gunflint Trail. Photo courtesy Golden Eagle Lodge, Grand Marais.Northwestern Minnesota's moose population has declined from a population of several thousand in the late 1980s to fewer than 100.

2011 aerial moose survey This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

In northeastern Minnesota, where forest cover is more extensive, there also is some evidence that moose are in decline. There is concern about high mortality from health-related causes but details are poorly understood.

The role of the Moose Advisory Committee (MAC) is to make recommendations to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, which has been charged by the Legislature to provide a moose research and management plan.

Perspectives on the issues

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Habitat

Doug Thompson, a MAC member who serves as northeast Minnesota program coordinator for the Nature Conservancy, discusses forest habitat's potential role in moose conservation.

Conservation

Minnesota Deer Hunters Association Executive Director Mark Johnson, a MAC member, talks about the importance of saving moose and the many questions that still need to be answered.

Enjoyment

Bob Baker, a MAC member who owns Gunflint Pines Resort on northeastern Minnesota's Gunflint Trail, talks about the iconic status of moose and the need to preserve them for future generations.

MAC Summary Recommendations

Social dimensions

Raise the public profile of moose in Minnesota by building a diverse constituency that will recognize the ecological, cultural and economic value of moose.

Communication

Inform the public of impacts to moose and mitigation strategies through a vigorous outreach and educational program.

Research

Continued monitoring of population status is critical and research is needed to improve understanding of factors affecting moose populations.

Moose harvest

Moose hunting can be continued in northeastern Minnesota but monitor harvest and population indicators that could initiate clusure of hunting seasons.

Deer management and deer impacts on moose

Through deer harvest and a ban on recreational feeding of white-tailed deer in northeastern Minnesota's moose range, deer should be managed at low densities to reduce potential parasite-mediated impacts to moose.

Habitat

Assure future availability of wetlands and other habitats where moose are most secure from heat stress.

Funding

Increased funding and personnel are needed to enhance moose research and management in Minnesota. This needs to be a collaborative effort involving DNR, other state agencies, federal agencies, tribal governments, academics and other non-governmental organizations.

Designation of moose as a State-Listed Species

MAC members were unanimous in believing that it is inappropriate at this time to designate the moose as either a threatened or endangered species, as defined in Minnesota Statute 84.0895. After considerable discussion, a narrow majority of committee members who voted supported state-listed status as a Species of Special Concern, which accurately reflects the animal's vulnerable status but conveys no additional legal status or protections.

Final report

MAC's full report This PDF file will open in a new window. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it. (473k)

News release about the report (8/18/09)

Supporting Documents

Moose Links