Wednesday, February 18, 2015

#25 - Moose & Elk Population Continues To Drop.

Now like the deer population in areas where wolves have migrated or been reintroduced we see a distinctive decline in the Moose population.  First we look at Minnesota:

Minnesota's moose numbers drop again; DNR says decline 'will likely continue'

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 18, 2015 - 7:23 AM

You can see how - insisting that wolves not be allowed to be "extinct" in our states is pushing other species toward extinction.

 "Using aerial surveys by the state DNR, the total in Minnesota has dropped from 8,840 in 2006 to 3,450. " 

"Minnesota’s moose population continues to fall, and wildlife officials said Tuesday that the latest count shows no sign that the state is reversing the puzzling decline that began a decade ago."

*Puzzling decline - really?!  That's like releasing rats into the pantry and then being puzzled by why the flour is gone.  Hypnotized maybe but puzzled - nah.

"An aerial survey by the state Department of Natural Resources, released Tuesday, puts the number of moose in Minnesota at 3,450 — down about 20 percent from 2014 but well above the tally from 2013, the year the agency halted hunting of the animal.

Since 2006, the number of moose in Minnesota is down roughly 60 percent from a high of 8,840."

As you can guess - the wolf population would also have risen in Minnesota.  Now will the increase in wolves really be detrimental to Moose & Deer & Hunters (who depend and are subsidies by hunting).  It already has suffered - will it get worse and cause the depletion or even extinction of Moose?  Traditional science says no - or very rarely (but we see the depletion already).

 Here's how the science goes:
"Predators kill and consume other organisms. Carnivores prey on animals, herbivores consume plants. Predators usually limit the prey population, although in extreme cases they can drive the prey to extinction. There are three major reasons why predators rarely kill and eat all the prey:
  1. Prey species often evolve protective mechanisms such as camouflage, poisons, spines, or large size to deter predation.
  2. Prey species often have refuges where the predators cannot reach them.
  3. Often the predator will switch its prey as the prey species becomes lower in abundance: prey switching.

Well #1 is out - no time for evolution to develop.  #2 A safe place for the deer in Maryland at least as it was here in NC was human's front lawns.  Still not safe in the wee hours of the night as an earlier post reveals a fawn - killed and eaten a block from the house (they haven't put the bus stop in yet).  So #2 is out - there is no place Deer and Moose can hide.  #3 - Switch Prey - Well are we going to wait till there are just a 1000 Moose and then see if the wolves switch to the also dwindling deer?  Or will they switch to pets and homeless vets?  Obviously they will do what it takes to survive.  Will we step up to the problem we've allowed to happen - showing it to be a sham pulled over on us that the Mascot of the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing has foisted on us thru Follywood programming?

"The DNR is conducting a separate moose mortality research project, which also provides insight into the species’ future in Minnesota.
Some 11 percent of collared adult moose died this year, as compared to 21 percent last year, Cornicelli said. Adult mortality was slightly lower, but the number of calves that survive to their first year has also been low.
“This indicates the population will likely continue to decline in the foreseeable future,” he said.
Researchers will radio-collar another 36 adult moose in the coming weeks and 50 newborn calves this spring in hopes of learning how to stop or slow the long-term population decline.
The DNR discontinued moose hunting in 2013, saying it would wait until the population could support a hunt." Source:

So we need to remove or reduce the "Other" hunters who are going to see that the moose does not recover.

While I'm at this the Elk Population might as well be added here - take Yellowstone for example - an 80% decrease in the number of Elk has occurred since the wolves were released.

Here was the Ecological Thinking:

What impact would wolf recovery have on other animals? Although wolves were commonly thought to limit the number of deer, elk and other ungulate prey, another view gained currency in the 1950s and 1960s. This view held that ungulate populations were limited not by predators but by food supply. Wolf predation merely ensured a plentiful food supply for the remaining ungulates, allowing more of them to breed. Predation was seen as putting a floor on the number of ungulates, rather than a ceiling. 
New evidence from the late 1980s and 1990s does not support this theory, however. Wolf and bear predation are much more significant constraints on ungulate populations than previously thought; a greater food supply per ungulate does not compensate for predation. The relationship between wolf and ungulate populations is one of conflict, not symbiosis.

What the outcome could be:  (Hunters & Environmentalist Should BE on the Same TEAM).

Why should environmentalists care about the quality of hunting? Because many hunters are keenly aware that overhunting and pollution can threaten their sport, the hunting community is an important supporter of conservationist causes. But sport hunters’ support for conservation depends greatly on their freedom to hunt. In British Columbia and Alaska’s coastal forests, where wolf recovery significantly diminished ungulate populations available for hunting, the population of hunters also diminished, and environmentalists lost an important ally. Consequently, public resistance to the clear cutting of forests waned and habitat protection lost political support. Summarizes Kay: “More wolves = fewer deer = less public support for wildlife = more clearcuts.”Source:

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