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)

Monday, September 30, 2013

We have consistently reported on the decline of Moose across most of the USA(Colorado so far holding up ok) due to the "perfect storm of warming temperatures increasing the incidence of debilitating Winter Ticks and the increase in Deer Brain Disease caused by land alteration over the last 100 years allowing Deer to penetrate farther and farther into territory that was historically a Moose dominated herbivore system....................It always irks me(and I hope you as well) how people are so fast to blame Wolves and Bears for the declining Moose numbers even when Wolves are absent from the environment......................When Moose are severely weakened by the Ticks and Brain Disease, the Wolves and Bears have easy pickings and do kill Moose for a living.....................That is what should be written,,,,,,,,,,,,,that the Carnivores are simply taking advantage of the the changing world that we humans have brought about..................Deer invading Moose habitat and warmer temperatures have so much to do with our economic and industrial activities.---the end result caused by these changes to previous healthy habitat is an increase in Moose death by predation..............An analagy in our own lives is that without sufficient exercise combined with unhealthy eating habits brings on heart attacks and cancer............................The focus on improving the health of Moose should be burning less fossil fuels and regrowing thicker forests---that would reduce both Ticks and Deer.........................The focus on improving human health should be more exercise and a heart healthy diet, not taking Lipitor and other medicines that have horrible side effects-------------------Let us focus on true cause to engender true solution.................Lets not focus on the end result of not taking care of the environment and our bodies!

Minnesota moose die from wolves, ticks, abandonment and disease

  • joseph marcoty, , Star
The first year of a landmark study found higher mortality rates than normal and listed several causes. Researchers say more work is needed.

A bull moose, sprouting the bumps of new antler growth on its head, grazed in a swamp off the Gunflint Trail in northeastern Minnesota — possibly one of the lucky ones in a declining population. One season of a high-tech study showed that the adult death rate was 18 percent; for calves, it was 71 percent.
It's tough to be a moose in Minnesota.
The deaths of 54 that were tracked as part of the
 biggest and most high-tech research study ever
conducted on moose provide a rare glimpse into
the harsh life they face in the wild and help explain
why they are rapidly disappearing from
North Woods.
By far the greatest number, primarily calves,
 were killed by bears and wolves. A number
were abandoned by their mothers; one drowned.
Three adults died from massive infestations of
winter ticks, and others succumbed to deer-
 parasites and infections.
Researchers said one season's worth of data
 about 150 collared moose is not enough to
 trends or to provide solutions in how to help
rebound. But it's clear, they said, that more
 are dying
than is normal.
Calves suffered a 71 percent mortality rate
after only
one summer, said Glenn DelGiudice, the
 researcher for the Minnesota Department
of Natural Resources who is running the calf
research portion
of the study.
And the ones that made it so far still have to
 their first winter.
Moose need a mortality rate of 50 or 55
percent in the
 first year of life to maintain their population,
The adult death rate was 18 percent, said
Carstensen, who is running the adult research
 for DNR
. If that rises to 30 percent in the winter, as
 "that's not sustainable," she said.
The number of moose in Minnesota plummeted
 one-third last year, double the rate of previous
Results of the annual aerial moose survey
 in January indicated that 2,760 moose were
 left, down
 from 4,230 in 2012.
In 2006, the population in the northeastern
corner of the
 state peaked at 8,840, but by then moose
had alread
y largely disappeared from the northwestern
corner of Minnesota, where they had long
 beenpart of thelandscape.
The sharp decline adds new urgency to the
 effort to
 understand why moose are dying in such
 So far, the project has been funded for two
 with $1.2 million from the state, tribes and
 University of Minnesota Duluth.
Now researchers are hoping for another
 from the state in part to determine how
 much of
 an impact global warming may have
 on the moose population.
Researchers want to attach devices on 30
 moose that
measure ambient and body temperatures
 to determine
 whether heat stress from higher average
 summer temperatures is playing a role
 in their demise.
A number of other studies have shown a
but none actually have provided the biological
evidence, DelGiudice said.
103 adult moose collared

In the first year of the study, wildlife crews
 found and
collared 103 adult moose with GPS devices
 that track
 their every movement.
When they die, in a wilderness version of the
 show "CSI," a signal alerts crews who rush
 in and recover
 the carcass to determine its cause of death.
 The crews
 include staff from the DNR, the U.S. Forest
 and the Fond du Lac and Grand Portage
bands of Ojibwe.
In springtime, when the GPS signals alerted
 the crews that
 the females were bedding down to give birth,
 trained crews that do the same work in western
 states and Alaska carefully moved in to collar
 50 newborn calves.
Despite taking all the precautions they could
think of, one frustrating and unexpected result
 of the calf collaring is that
 11 died, said DelGiudice.
Nine of them were abandoned by their mothers
 One died
when a mother stepped on it during the attempt
 to collar it
and one died for unknown reasons.
The timidity of the mothers surprised the wildlife
experts who have done such collaring elsewhere,
 DelGiudice said.
In Alaska, the helicopters had to hover directly
 above the handlers on the ground to keep the
mothers at bay. In one
 case, the pilot had to nudge a mother moose
 away with the helicopter strut.
"Here the mothers were skittish and would bolt
 for distances," DelGiudice said.
In addition to those 11 deaths, four calves slipped
 their collars, leaving a total of 34 for the researchers
 to follow. By the end
of the summer, 24 of them had died. Four were
eaten by
bears and another 16 most likely were killed by
wolves, though researchers aren't positive about
four of those. One drowned, two were abandoned
by their mothers well after being collared and one
 died for unknown reasons.
If the 10 that are left survive the winter, their chances
 are good, DelGiudice said.
Easy prey for wolves
Wolves also took about half of the 19 adults —
eight were direct kills and two died from infections
 that developed from wounds, Carstensen said.
Three apparently healthy moose died for unknown
That raises tantalizing questions about the predator
 deaths. Moose that are sickened or weak are
 easy prey for wolves, which then eat the 
evidence of what caused the decline in the 
first place, she said.
That may be what happened to one moose whose
demise, by sheer chance, was witnessed by Amanda
 McGraw and others in a group of graduate students
 who were doing moose
 habitat research near Isabella, Minn., during the first
week of September.
They saw an adult moose near the edge of a pond,
 moved in to get a closer look and take photos. They
crawled through the long grass on their bellies, and
 only as they got close did they realize that the moose
 was sick and injured.
It ignored them, and then stumbled into the water,
where it couldn't get up.
They called in the moose wildlife crew and left to
finish their work. When the crew arrive two hours
 later, the moose
 already had been eaten by wolves that most likely
 lurking in a nearby patch of poplars waiting for its
She realized only later, McGraw said, that while
 crawling through the grass she might have come
 nose to nose with
a wolf.

No comments: