An icon of the north, the moose is one of Minnesota’s most prized wildlife species. Unfortunately, moose populations have declined dramatically in Minnesota. The northwestern population has all but disappeared and the northeastern population has declined ~50% since 2005. Warming temperatures in northern Minnesota have been implicated in the declines because moose are intolerant of heat. Temperatures in northern Minnesota have increased and are forecasted to continue increasing. Understanding how moose cope with the effects of warmer temperatures is a research priority in Minnesota’s Moose Research and Management Plan and is critical for identifying long-term habitat needs for moose.
The Minnesota Zoo’s Conservation Department is partnering with Dr. Ron Moen of the Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota Duluth to conduct research with the aim of identifying habitats used by moose during warm periods. Conservation Biologist, Dr. Nick McCann, will analyze data from 64 moose that were captured and equipped with satellite tracking devices. He will determine if temperature influences which habitats moose use and investigate habitat characteristics of sites that may help moose dissipate heat during warm periods. Results from this research will be used to identify important moose habitat in Minnesota and to develop management recommendations that are intended to help prevent loss of moose from the state.
And a generous field vehicle donation from Morrie’s Mazda
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