Press enter after choosing selection

Growth Of Moose Herd Surpasses Planning

Growth Of Moose Herd Surpasses Planning image
Parent Issue
Copyright Protected
Rights Held By
Donated by the Ann Arbor News. © The Ann Arbor News.
OCR Text

Growth of moose herd surpasses planning


Based on information from aerial surveys, state experts believe the he rd is now between 300 and 400, after being established with 59 moose from Canada in 1986 and '87.

Michigan’s moose population continues to grow, according to a recent aerial survey conducted by the Department of Natural Resources.

During the survey, flown over the central Upper Peninsula, biologist Rob Aho located 13 radio-collared cow moose accompanied by 11 calves. Seven of the cows observed had single calves, two had twins and the other four did not have calves with them.

In addition, four other cow moose were spotted, two of which had calves.

The aerial survey is part of an ongoing effort to monitor the moose herd in the Upper Peninsula. The herd was established with the transfer of 59 moose from Algonquin (Ontario) Provincial Park in 1985 and 1987.

The DNR estimated the moose population is between 300 and 400 animals.

DNR personnel also located nine of 10 collared bulls during the survey flight. Of those, one was accompanied by two uncollared bulls and another was accompanied by a single uncollared bull. The other collared bull, which wasn’t located, was in an area well away from the area surveyed.

The DNR has set a goal of having 1,000 moose in the U.P. by the turn of the century. The population is at least on target and perhaps a little ahead of it, according to John Hendrickson, the DNR game biologist for the Upper Peninsula.

Michigan’s moose are as productive as other North American moose populations, DNR biologists said, but calf mortality is lower than had been predicted.

But biologists are unsure how other factors will affect the moose population.

“The big unknown here is what’s going to happen with the deer population,” Hendrickson said. “The deer population is a little higher than would be optimal for the moose, but it still looks good.”

DNR biologists would like the deer population to be less than 10 per square mile in moose range. White-tailed deer often carry brain worm, a parasite that is fatal to moose but does not affect whitetails.

DNR personnel will attempt to collar more moose during February to continue to monitor them.

Biologists have already established that at least one 1½-year-old cow has produced and raised a calf. Moose are generally not sexually mature until at least 2½ years of age.