Minnesota moose population at largest level since 2011
Published 5:33 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2022
ST. PAUL — Minnesota’s moose population is the largest it has been in more than a decade, after 11 consecutive years of remaining relatively stable, Department of Natural Resources officials said Monday.
The DNR’s 2022 survey estimated the moose population at about 4,700 animals, with a potential range between 3,440 and 6,780. The survey showed no statistically significant change from the last one conducted in 2020 but is the highest estimate since 2011.
An estimated 19% of the population was calves — the highest it has been since the population was near its peak in 2005. The estimated calf-cow ratio was 45 calves to 100 cows.
DNR researchers said Minnesota’s moose population — which is 47% lower than its peak in 2006 — is still at risk long term despite sustained population stability and signs of reproductive success.
Biologists can’t see or count every moose across the 6,000-square mile (9,656-square kilometer) survey area so the survey provides an estimate. They survey a portion of the moose range every year to come up with an estimate, but canceled the 2021 survey because of the pandemic.
The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the 1854 Treaty Authority contributed funding and personnel for the annual survey.