Click above to learn why a study lasting more than one year provides better information and potential answers.
Data collected during the first 12 months of the DNR's moose mortality project has given wildlife researchers an unprecedented view into the lives and deaths of Minnesota moose.
In many instances, researchers know what killed a particular moose. From locations transmitted by high-tech GPS collars, researchers have watched an animal's movements in the days and hours leading up to its death. For a select group of moose, researchers were able to observe fluctuations in the animals' temperatures as injury, trauma or sickness occurred and life slipped away.
As yet, there isn't enough data to answer with certainty why Minnesota's moose population has dropped 52 percent since 2010. And it's far too early in the study for researchers to even consider possible solutions that might slow the precipitous decline.
Data collected over the long-term is more informative and significant than information collected over the short-term. That's why researchers just completed collaring an additional 36 adult moose. These animals replace moose that died during the first year of the seven-year study, allowing researchers to maintain their sample.
Science is a slow process. Data must be collected during the course of multiple years so variations in weather, habitat, physiology and behavior can be factored in. Collected data must be analyzed and compared. Only then can likely causes can be determined and potential solutions offered.
Fifty more newborn moose calves will be collared in this spring. Additional funding for a third year has been secured so this first-of-its-kind study can continue. Without the information and insight the study can provide, there is little hope that these massive and majestic animals will continue to be a source of awe and enjoyment in Minnesota's north woods.
Minnesota mystery: What's killing the moose? (New York Times)
What's killing Minnesota's moose population? (CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley)
The high-tech detective hunt to save Minnesota's moose (America Tonight, Al-Jazeera America)
Numbers improve but Minnesota moose still not out of the woods (Minnesota Public Radio)
Moose mortality study continues, population drop still a mystery (WDIO, Duluth, ABC)
High Tech Research Targets Moose Mortality Mystery (WCCO, Minneapolis-St. Paul, CBS MN)
What's Killing Minnesota's Moose (St. Paul Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MediaNews Group)
Eyewitness News Special Report: A Desperate Measure (WDIO, Duluth, ABC)
Eyewitness News Special Report: Communities Concerned About Moose (WDIO, Duluth, ABC)
Moose hunt canceled; DNR works to answer population decline (KARE, Minneapolis-St. Paul, NBC)