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New study by renowned Minnesota scientist links wolf numbers to moose calf survival #archery

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Of course it’s the wolves.

Some people try to say that it’s parasites from deer that are killing moose or global warming, ticks, or whatever else…..if that’s the case, how is there a soon to be over-population of moose on Isle Royale, just 56 miles away, basically a moose utopia that is somehow un-effected by global warming, ticks, or parasites?

Sure the parasites from deer that are transferred from moose shouldn’t be on Isle Royale because there aren’t deer there. But these parasites come from the ground and attach to deer and moose, obviously they should be at Isle Royale also.

https://www.twincities.com/2018/01/3…calf-survival/

Quote:

New study by renowned Minnesota scientist links wolf numbers to moose calf survival

By JOHN MYERS | Forum News Service

PUBLISHED: January 30, 2018 at 9:56 am | UPDATED: January 30, 2018 at 1:20 pm

In yet another effort to untangle the mystery behind Minnesota’s diminished moose population, renowned wolf researcher David Mech is reporting a stark correlation between wolf population levels and survival of moose calves.

Mech was the lead author of a research paper published online this January in the journal Wildlife Society Bulletin that found rapidly increasing wolf numbers in Northeastern Minnesota from 2001 to 2009 coincided with the rapid demise of moose in the region — from nearly 9,000 moose in 2006 to fewer than 4,000 in recent winters.

Mech, who has been studying wolves in an 800-square-mile area of the Superior National Forest for decades, said wolf numbers more than doubled while moose declined, from fewer than 50 wolves in the study area in 2001 to nearly 100 by 2010.

The number of moose calves surviving to their first winter peaked at 0.93 per cow when wolf numbers were lower but dropped as low as 0.24 when wolf numbers peaked, the study notes. That level is considered unsustainable for moose to continue a thriving population, especially with so many adult moose dying from other causes.

But the trend may be reversing.

A recent stabilization of the Minnesota moose herd, and a slight increase in calf survival seen in the last few winter surveys, also coincides with a sharp decline in wolf numbers in the study area, the study found, showing the correlation works in reverse, too.

The study cites a previously unreported decline in wolves in the heart of the national forest in recent years — down to 34 or fewer wolves in the study area in 2017, less than half of the 82 wolves estimated in 2012.

Moose calf survival increased some as wolf numbers dropped, from the 0.24 low in 2011 to 0.36 per cow last year.

“We do not claim that wolf numbers only influence moose population during declines nor that wolves are the only factor affecting moose numbers,” the study concludes.

Recent wolf and moose population data only show “suggestive information” on the plight of moose, the study noted. “However, our new and revised data signal a critical downward trend in the wolf population in our study area and an apparent response by moose.”

Wolves in the study area declined due to fewer moose to eat, the study notes, but also because of hunting and trapping allowed in 2012, 2013 and 2014 when wolves were briefly off the federal protected list.

The study stops short of saying wolves were the primary cause of the overall moose decline.

“Would the Northeastern Minnesota moose population be declining if there were no wolves? Our findings do not answer this question definitively,” the report notes. But the findings “suggest that the decline of Northeastern Minnesota moose since 2006 at least would not have been as steep without wolves’ presence and influence.”

Mech and co-authors John Frieberg and Shannon Barber-Meyer also go back to show similar relationships in past decades, noting a brief but dramatic moose decline in the early 1990s corresponded with a rapid rise in wolves at the same time.

The new study doesn’t refute any of a number of other research efforts looking to solve the moose mystery. Recent Minnesota Department of Natural Resources research shows wolves are clearly a factor in moose deaths, along with parasites such as winter ticks and a brainworm spread by deer. Bears also kill a significant number of newborn moose calves each spring.

Other researchers note that a long-term trend to warmer and less snowy winters has helped push deer numbers up in the moose range of Minnesota, spreading more brainworm north. That warming trend also has lead to a higher survival rate of ticks. And scientists say warmer weather leads to more moose stress, causing moose to eat less and store less fat to survive winter.

Other researchers note that habitat for moose has declined in many areas making it harder for them to thrive. Moose like second-generation forests, such as those that followed recent large fires in the region, some of the few areas where moose numbers have actually gone up in recent years.

State and tribal wildlife officials currently are conducting aerial surveys of moose in selected area of Northeastern Minnesota and will release their updated annual population estimate later this winter.



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Got deer? Cougars could help control herds, study says

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Yeah, hunting wouldn’t work here. Let’s introduce a top of the food chain predator. It worked well with wolves in Minnesota.

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2016/…tudy-says.html

Quote:

Got deer? Cougars could help control herds, study says

By Cristina Corbin Published August 11, 2016

Big cats are the new big idea for reducing the deer population in the Northeast, where growing numbers of bucks and does wander through backyards and onto roads — where they pose a danger to themselves and humans.

A group of scientists is calling for re-introducing cougars into states like New York and New Jersey in an attempt to lower the exploding whitetail deer population. They say the 220-pound predators are a natural solution to a problem that causes 1.2 milllion car accidents per year, including 200 fatalities.

"Recolonization by large carnivores could provide an efficient solution to the problem of deer overabundance,” wrote study authors Laura Prugh, a wildlife scientist at the University of Washington; Sophie Gilbert, a wildlife ecologist at the University of Idaho and several colleagues.
The study, published in the journal Conservation Letters, argues the region could see fewer fatalities and save $ 2.13 billion over the course of 30 years if the prowling beasts were reintroduced into the wild.

While the authors acknowledge "large carnivore recolonization" could lead to attacks on humans, pets and livestock, the number of lives lost would be far less than the number of lives saved.

The eastern cougar was last seen in Maine in 1938, but the cats the study refers to are also known in other regions by names including catamount, panther, puma and mountain lion. The cats have been seen as far north as the Canadian Yukon and as far south as the Andes mountains of South America.

It’s not the first time scientists have thought way out of the box in an effort to cull the hoofed herds. Several locales, including New York communities of Ithaca, Staten Island and East Hampton, have spent taxpayer funds to tranquilize and sterilize deer.

Auto accidents attributed to deer also are blamed for $ 1.66 billion in damages and 29,000 injuries to people, making them the "most dangerous large mammal in North America to humans," according to the report.

The study asserts that a single cougar may kill 259 deer over a six-year lifespan.

The study, published last month, cites South Dakota — where the giant cats were imported — as a success story, noting their presence has dramatically reduced the number of deer-vehicle collisions.

The scientists argue that the Garden State, for instance, could save $ 2.4 million and avoid 24 injuries caused by deer-vehicle accidents annually. In New York, some $ 218 million could be saved each year and roughly 2,188 inuries and 16 deaths could be avoided if cougars prowled the land, they estimate.

The authors’ methodical approach analyzed certain factors, like starting deer density and final deer density. It also included projections for 17 other states, such as Maine, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina and Wisconsin.

The idea of reintroducing cougars was roundly criticized Wednesday by one state official in New Jersey.

"It doesn’t have a leg to stand on," Larry Hajna, a spokesman for the state’s Department for Environmental Protection, said of the recommendation.

"We’re too densely populated," Hajna told FoxNews.com. "It makes absolutely no sense to introduce a top-line predator with so many people packed into a tight area."

The areas where deer are most problematic, Hajna noted, are places near homes with children and pets.

"I don’t understand the logic whatsoever. Cougars have been known to attack people," he said. "It seems the authors are sitting in an ivory tower out West."

In New Jersey, Hajna urged people to stop feeding the deers’ voracious appetites and advocated for greater use of what he called the community-based deer management program, which allows for hunters with specific training qualifications to kill more deer in certain areas.

"It takes some political will on the part of towns to implement this program," he said.



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