Biologists Believe Moose Population At Voyageurs National Park Is Stable

The moose population at Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota appears to be stable in comparison with recent years, with an estimated 46 individuals.

During the aerial survey, conducted in late February, biologists counted 25 calves among the 46 animals, and six sets of twins.

There was no survey conducted in 2012, but in 2011 the biologists estimated the population at 46 individuals, and 41 in 2010. A high of 51 individuals are estimated during the 2009 survey, the highest tally since 53 were counted in 1997.

The recent surveys show the park's moose population is faring better than those in other parts of Minnesota, the biologists said.

"Survey results from 2013, when combined with earlier survey results from 2009-2011 and other available data, suggest Voyageurs National Park currently maintains a stable, low density moose population. The northeastern Minnesota moose population declined 65 percent from 2009-2013. Assuming a similar decline was occurring in VNP, the expected 2013 population estimate in VNP should have been 18 moose," noted Steve K. Windels, the park's research wildlife biologist.

However, he added, why the park's moose population seems to be stable is unknown.

The survey was conducted in the park's Kabetogama Peninsula, a 305-square-kilometer roadless area in the center of the park where more than 95 percent of Voyageurs' moose population is located.