Visitor Counter

hitwebcounter web counter
Visitors Since Blog Created in March 2010

Click Below to:

Add Blog to Favorites

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

Subscribe via email to get updates

Enter your email address:

Receive New Posting Alerts

(A Maximum of One Alert Per Day)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

We have two conflicting reports coming out of Ontario regarding the health of the Moose population---An ONTARIO FEDERATION OF ANGLERS AND HUNTERS biologist claims all is well and the Moose population is robust virtually everywhere except in and around Algonquin Park.............Conversely, a 2007 MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES report echos the problems that Moose are having in the Great Lake States---the perfect storm of warming temperatures that lead to debilitating tick infestations,,,,,,,,,,, brainworm disease resulting from increasing deer herds(also increases wolf and bear predation on weakened Moose),,,,,,,,,,,,, droughts that are drying up food sources and heat waves prolonging autumn cooling------ which leads to less Moose mating and subsequent declines in calf recruitment............All have begun to hammer the Moose herd in Ontario...........I hate to be cynical but it always seems that the sportsmens federations find some "off-the-reservation" biologist who is all to happy to be paid well to say: "the animals are thriving, no need for hunting restrictions"-------I find these "slight-of-hand" testimonials to be nauseating and an insult to the general public who might not have their heads into wildlife management issues except when some daily newspaper does not check the utterings of charlatans and prints their "poison" ------ultimately knowingly or unknowingly manipulating the discourse and ultmate management policies instituted by State Wildlife Agencies

COntario moose herd 'healthy' despite US concerns

More southern areas of the province are seeing low rates of moose reproduction, however

A biologist with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters says the province's moose herd is healthy overall, even though a neighbouring state in the US is raising concerns about its own moose population.

State officials in Minnesota have classified moose as a species of special concern, as the population there keeps dropping. A senior wildlife biologist with OFAH said moose in Minnesota are suffering because of climate change and from disease, parasites and a low calf-cow ratio.
Mark Rykman, a senior wildlife biologist with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters says the province's moose population is healthy overall.  Mark Rykman, a senior wildlife biologist with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters says the province's moose population is healthy overall.

"Whereas we don't see that combination of ... factors anywhere in Ontario right now," Mark Ryckman said.

 Ryckman noted moose are being more tightly managed in areas around Algonquin Park, where some populations are in trouble because of a low rate of reproduction. Some steps are being taken by Ministry of Natural Resources in Wildlife Management Units near Algonquin Park to help preserve the moose populations resulting from a low cow-calf ratio there, he added. "[But there are] certainly no concerns that would require intensive management the same way they have in the south," Ryckman said.

"Our moose population in Ontario is healthy for the most part ... There are no concerns that would require intensive management [in northwestern Ontario).

•Ontario is home to over 100,000 moose, which is just over 10% of the estimated one million moose in North America.(Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources)

                    Heat stress killing Ontario moose Authors:Meadows, Bryan.

Source:Ontario Out of Doors, Apr2007, Vol. 39 Issue 3, p14-14

The article focuses on the increasing deaths of moose in Ontario. As per the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources biologists, heat stress along with health draining parasites like brain worm are the reasons for moose deaths. It is noted that global warming can be another reason for decline in moose numbers as rise in temperatures make them eat less as they lay around lakes to keep themselves cool. It is observed that the less intake of nutrients make calves less nutrient to face the winter..

MNR biologists studying a decline in moose populations in the western areas of the province maintain that heat stress, combined with health-draining parasites such as brain-worm, are proving to be lethal for moose in the Kenora and Dryden districts.

"It's only a theory." said MNR biologist Art Rodgers, but higher temperatures associated with global warming might be one of the possible reasons for the decline in the number of moose calves.

"It has to do with heat stress," he added. Moose feel heat stress during summer when temperatures rise above 14°C and in winter when they're above -5°C. "When moose become heat stressed, they don't spend much time eating; they lay around lakes and swamps trying to keep cool," he said.

Cows are not eating enough. Rodgers notes the theory is their calves are not getting the nutrients required to put on enough body fat (energy reserves) to survive winter. As well, heat stress might be affecting adult moose during the fall rut. "We don't know if warmer weather delays the beginning of estrous cycles in cows or testosterone production in bulls," explained Rodgers. "But we do know that cows and bulls are less active on warm days," So, warm temperatures extending into fall might lead to asynchrony (less amorous behaviour) of bulls and cows during the rut, he says.

Where the Moose are during different seasons of the year

In addition to heat stress, Rodgers believes the widely fluctuating and extreme temperatures of late also contribute to moose mortality. If moose are infested by winter ticks and, as a result, lose hair, extreme events like rain in January can cause death by hypothermia.

Ministry biologists also believe brainworm, a nematode carried by the burgeoning population of white-tailed deer, but harmless to the species, is impacting area moose. "Moose sickness" due to brain worm is restricted largely to areas where deer and moose ranges overlap. The parasite can't survive in frigid climates, but as whitetails move north, they carry the potential of infecting moose. The resulting neurological disease is characterized by weakness, fearlessness, lack of co-ordination of movement, circling, deafness, impaired vision, paralysis, and subsequent death.

Declines in the moose populations of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia. Maine, and Minnesota also appear to be associated with brainworm. A study of moose in northern Minnesota concluded in 2004 that climatic changes, combined with increases in deer numbers and parasite (brainworm and liver fluke) transmission rates might have rendered the region inhospitable to moose.

Black bear and wolf predation might also be a factor, Rodgers adds. Kenora MNR district biologist Scott McAughey maintains that all the symptoms of moose mortality arc linked. "Climate change is driving this," he said, adding that the potential impacts of heat stress, not eating, and doing less to protect their young, combined with parasites and predation, arc all taking their toll on the region's moose. "It's logical to assume the same thing is happening here (as in Minnesota)."


Population peaked at 1.000 animals in 1994 and has declined over the past 10 years to 350 animals.


Surveyed in 2006, the moose herd plummeted by half to 650 animals from 1,100 in a 2003 survey.


The moose population has dropped by 850 over a 6-year period. In 2000, an aerial survey showed a high of about 3,350 animals, compared with an estimated 2,500 following a 2006 survey.

No comments: