Minnesota moose survey wraps up

Minnesota moose survey wraps up

Minnesota's annual aerial moose survey wrapped up Friday. Results should be published in March.

Each year, partners from the Minnesota DNR, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and the 1854 Treaty Authority collaborate on an aerial moose survey in northeastern Minnesota.

About 54 survey plots are selected for monitoring. It was -15 degrees when this year’s survey began on January 16, and there was more snow on the ground at the time. According to the Minnesota DNR, biologists generally like to have more snow on the ground to improve visibility. This year’s survey wrapped up on Friday, February 2.

During each survey, wildlife biologists count the number of moose observed from a helicopter. They note the number of bulls, cows, and calves and record the types of forest habitats that moose are using.

With the exception of 2021, the data has been collected since 2005. Data obtained from the annual survey is used to estimate moose populations over time and track long-term trends. After a decline in moose populations in the early 2000s, moose populations have remained lower but generally stable for the last ten years at 3000-4000 moose.

Results from this year’s survey are expected to be published in March.

Last year’s report can be found at this link.