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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

The relatively snowless Winter has kept the annual Minnesota Moose survey count from getting started.........Finally, with 8 inches of new powder, biologists are about to get underway and determine if the Moose population is continuing to slide downward due to winter tick maladies as well as brainworm disease that is transmitted to Moose from a growing whitetail deer population

With snowfall, aeriel survey of moose in northeastern Minnesota begins

Recent snowfall in northeastern Minnesota has allowed for the start of the 2012 aerial moose survey, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
By: News-Chronicle, Lake County News Chronicle
The annual survey, which has been conducted every year since 1960, provides critical data needed to determine the size of the moose population and to set the number of moose hunting permits.
Observers from the DNR Fish and Wildlife Division, the 1854 Treaty Authority, and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa gathered in Ely to begin the survey, which is expected to last two to three weeks, depending on the weather.

Forty-nine survey plots randomly scattered across the survey area will be flown. This includes the addition of nine specially selected "habitat" plots that will be studied to determine how moose respond to recent wildfires, prescribed burns and timber management. Survey plots measure approximately three miles wide by five miles long.

"We are glad to see the snow and get the survey started," Tower Area Wildlife Manager Tom Rusch said. "We plan to fly two aircraft and survey up to eight plots per day. We're flying over some of the most rugged areas of the state during these surveys, so safety and weather conditions are always a concern for our crews."

Until recently, only 2 to 4 inches of snow covered the ground in some of the western portion of the survey area, which caused a three-week delay. Snow cover of at least 8 inches is needed to cover rock outcroppings and allow field observers to identify moose in heavy cover.

Once all of the plots have been flown, the data will be analyzed to estimate the total number of moose in the area, the level of reproduction, and the ratio of adult bull and cow moose. Data from the survey will be used in the process to set permit numbers for the 2012 hunting season.

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