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DNR says moose numbers continue to decline in northeastern Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says new data show the moose population in northeastern Minnesota continues to decline.

Aerial survey results released Monday also show the proportion of cows accompanied by calves continued a 13-year decline, dropping to a record low of 28 calves per 100 cows.

Based on the survey, wildlife researchers estimate there were 5,500 moose in northeastern Minnesota last year. That estimate is not considered statistically different from the 2008 estimate of 7,600.

Experts caution that making accurate population estimates is difficult. But the DNR says it reinforces the inference that the moose population is declining.

The reasons are not well understood, but researchers suspect warmer temperatures are a factor.