Minnesota's moose population continues to fall - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Minnesota's moose population continues to fall

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Wildlife managers say Minnesota's moose population continues to decline, and that's going to affect their decision on a moose hunting season this fall.

The annual aerial survey released Thursday by the Department of Natural Resources shows the state's moose population dropped from an estimated 4,900 in 2011 to 4,230 in 2012. The population was estimated at 8,840 in 2006 and has been declining since them for reasons that scientists say are not well understood, but diseases and parasites are thought to be factors.

But the survey shows some positive trends -- improved calf survival and a higher bull-to-cow ratio.

The DNR says it will be evaluating the data and consulting with tribal biologists before making a decision on a hunting season. The decision will be announced in the coming weeks.

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