Decimated Moose Population Attributed To Brain Worm, Predators And Habitat Factors
An aerial survey of the moose population in Wildlife Management Areas 7A Aulneau Peninsula and 7B Lake of the Woods conducted in January 2011 resulted in a count of 42 moose and a projected population of about 300 moose for both areas combined.
Experts say the current population estimate of 300 moose is about equal to 10% of the peak population numbers calculated in the 1990s. Factors contributing to this decline in population include brain worm, a high deer population, and habitat. Deer are the source of the brain worm parasite, and they also support a large wolf population which prey on moose.
Forest fires in the area have also taken their toll on the moose population, and in the last few years a large outbreak of moose ticks left the animals hairless and susceptible to many diseases.
Winter weather also plays a factor in the moose population count. Scientists predict a severe winter ahead, which will likely affect the deer population in a negative way; as the number of deer decline, the number of moose will likely increase.