Moose Population Declining Due To Climate Change And More Predators, But Mostly More Predators

Hilarious stuff from Public Radio International

In the last 20 years, the moose population in the northern Midwest has declined. Researchers believe this may be due to climate change and warmer temperatures as well as an increase in the number of predators to moose.

I’d put my money on the predators being the major cause. If moose can’t deal with a massive 1.4 F increase in temperatures, perhaps they should be relegated to the ash heap of history.

Whether in the opening credits of Northern Exposure or in the fictional town of Frostbite, Minn., moose are most often associated with cold climates.

But Bullwinkle could become a rarity in Minnesota, as the moose population continues to decline.

“We’ve been seeing a long term population decline since 1990,” said Seth Moore, director of Biology and Environment for the Grand Portage Band of Chippewa in Minnesota. “We’re seeing lower number of bulls compared to cows, we’re seeing fewer calves on the landscape. So, we’re trying to determine what the causes are for the population decline. We’re concerned that moose are going in the same direction as the polar bear populations in the Arctic, and we hope that we can be effective before the population decline has gone too far.”

Part of the reason Moore believes the declining moose population may be similar to that of the polar bear has to do with climate change. He said the Chippewa area saw the lowest snow fall numbers in years. He referred to it as a “non-winter.”

We’re doomed! Except the polar bear populations are increasing and doing just fine.

And then we find out that the populations of wolves are up, who eat moose. And deer populations are way up, which increase parasites which end up in the moose. Of course, nowhere in the story are they able to prove that any warming since 1990 is caused by Mankind. You’re just supposed to infer it. I wonder how moose survived during the much warmer periods that occurred over the past 7,000 years?

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10 Responses to “Moose Population Declining Due To Climate Change And More Predators, But Mostly More Predators”

  1. […] Pirate’s Cove: Moose Population Declining Due To Climate Change And More Predators, But Mostly More Predators […]

  2. Jeff Green says:

    On this island ticks are getting the better of the moose making them weaker and easier prey for the the wolves. Ticks are doing better because of the warming.

    The vast majority of them are dying from some unknown malady. We just have not been able to identify what that is,” said Lenarz. “Some are dying from what’s called brain worm. Some are probably dying from winter ticks. Some are dying from who-knows-what disease or parasites out there, but it isn’t any single smoking gun.”

    Lenarz says warmer temperatures mean moose have to work harder at staying cool. Heat stress makes animals more vulnerable to disease.

    At the same time, the warmer climate is helping the deer population thrive. And most deer carry parasites — brain worm, for example — that may be spreading more quickly to moose.


    Not only is global warming not good for the Moose, possibly and time will tell, conditions from warming may working against the moose such as parasites and diseases. We will see over time. If you can keep your mind open and out of denial its a wait and see.

  3. klem says:

    I had no idea that climate change caused bullet holes to develop in moose. Darn that climate change!

  4. mojo says:

    “I now leave you to…. your MOOSEY FATE!”
    — Invader Zim

  5. The problem, Jeff, is that we aren’t arguing warmth, but causation. If CO2 is the primary driver as Warmists posit, then why have temperatures been statistically insignificant since the El nino. Year of 1998? Some raw data even says world temps have declined this century. Why did temps dip for 3 decades despite a large rise in CO2?

  6. Gumball_Brains says:

    Wait… I thought scientists believed in “evolution” and “survival of the fittest” and “predator-prey cycles”?

    Are we now to believe that any change in the numbers of any species is bad? And only caused by AGW factors?

    OMG!!!! All this time the rising and declining and rising and declining and rising and declining hare population of the Sierra Nevadas was caused by our campfires and not the oft-told “predator-prey cycle”?

    OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG (said in a valley-girl voice)

    Come on Jeff. Be smarter than this. If the scientists falls on his face by saying “its just like the declining polar bears”, then how trustworthy can he be about other aspects of the study. There are many causes of animal deaths and you have even outlined a number of them here.

    Researchers believe this may be due to climate change

    Let’s try a little evidence and results-based outcomes if you don’t mind. Pure conjecture still has no place in science. Unless you are wanting to join advocacy-based political science?

    “So, in winter, moose tend to exhibit heat stress at 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Well, most of our winter was about 20 degrees Fahrenheit, so these animals are stressed out for the entire winter,” Moore said.

    DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN. They must be dropping like … well, like dead flies during the blazing baking cooking blaring oven-like summer months when temps get to .. gasp.. 70 degrees or more!!!!!! How in heaven’s grace do we even still have one Bullwinkle moosling alive today?

    In addition to heat-related deaths,…

    We’re still talking winter here, right? ok, just checking.

    The other two parasites that affect moose significantly are brain worms and liver flukes,” Moore said. “Both of these are passed by deer, and our deer numbers are high because our winters are less severe. Winter is the population control for deer numbers in this area.”

    Ok. So, we have global warming responsible for increasing deer numbers. That is causing in increase in deer-base parasites which are killing the mooses. No, its warming that’s killing the moosens. But, an increase in deer is bad,… right? More deer to hunt is bad for the people and the economy? So, if we hunt more deer, then… less deer-based parasites, right? So, where’s the problem?

    What has been the history of deaths by cause over the last 50 years? Are we in fact seeing a rise in brain worms? What has been the population dynamics of the “meese” population over the years??

    As was the case of the classic study on the predator-prey system of Isle Royale, wolves, one of the few predators to moose, keep the number of moose down. However, Moore said the number of wolves is closely correlated with the number of deer, and both populations are on the rise.


    And, what in fact is North Midwest? Is that still Chicago?

  7. bill says:

    What amazes me is the ignorance of many of the comments and the downright falsehoods. I would hope some folks would stop the Fox news sound bites and try reading or even thinking a little. The fact is human-induced global warming is a serious problem that we have to grapple with and actually discuss in a meaningful way.

  8. First of all, bill, you’ve plainly showed that you are simply aping standard Warmist/liberal talking points, since, if you ever watched Fox News, you would know that the subject is barely ever touched upon.

    Second, if AGW is such a “fact” why do government paid scientists refuse to release the raw data and the methods in which they “smooth” the data? If real, why do so few Warmists actually change their lives to match their rhetoric?

  9. Kevin says:

    Also, I hear they taste like cow. That’s not a safe flavor to be.

  10. Gumball_Brains says:

    mmmmmmmmmmmm cow.

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