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View Diary: Overnight News Digest -- "Shake Those Bones" Edition (24 comments)

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  •  Bad News from Frostbite Falls, MN (12+ / 0-)

    StarTribune: State moose population dives by a third in annual count

    The number of moose in Minnesota plummeted by one third in the last year, a startling decline that prompted state wildlife officials to suspend indefinitely the annual hunt of the emblematic animal.

    The sudden acceleration -- double the rate of recent years -- adds new urgency to an unprecedented research effort to understand, before it's too late, why moose are dying in such numbers.

    [...]

    Results of the annual aerial survey, conducted in January and released Wednesday, indicated that 2,760 moose are left in Minnesota, down from 4,230 in 2012. In 2006, the population in the northeastern corner of the state peaked at 8,840, but by then moose had already largely disappeared from the northwest corner of Minnesota, where they had long been part of the landscape.

    State wildlife officials say that, at the current rate of decline, moose could be gone from Minnesota in a matter of years.

    [...]

    Other studies have connected winter moose deaths to higher average temperatures. The huge animals are exquisitely sensitive to heat, and when it's hot in the summer, they tend to lie in cool damp places and pant instead of eating. Then they don't put on enough fat to carry them through the winter.

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