Moose of “Special Concern” in Minn.

mooseThe the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ list of endangered, threatened and special concern species is due to get its first update since 1996, a DNR press release reports. While 302 Minnesota species will be affected, moose are getting all the attention.

The iconic north woods animal is proposed for listing as a species of special concern. The designation reflects a 50 percent decline in the number of moose in the state since 2005, reports the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. There are now about 4,000 moose in the state.

What is causing the rapid decline is still a bit of a mystery, but a combination of disease, parasites and a warming climate appear to be the causes, the Star-Tribune notes.

CBC News reports University of Minnesota Duluth biologist Ron Moen as saying that wildlife managers in Ontario should keep an eye out for their own moose. The southern part of western Ontario shares a border with Minnesota.

As for why the gray wolf’s delisting in the other direction, from special concern to not on the list, is not receiving much attention, that’s because this year’s wolf hunting season (and the federal delisting) packed more punch than this proposed delisting.

Read the Star-Tribune article here.
Read the Minn. DNR press release here.
Get more details about the list changes, here.

Photo: Moose, courtesy MN DNR

Florida may delist black bears

In June, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will decide whether to remove the black bear from the state’s threatened species list, a move that would open the door to hunting them. There are some interesting statistics buried deep in the Orlando Sentinel article, including that 8 percent of the bears in the WekivaOcala corridor are hit and killed by cars each year, on average.

Read the whole article in the Orlando Sentinel here.

A press release from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission from last November about the delisting process is here.

Photo credit: Waverley Traylor, courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service