September 25, 2023

Disease, wolves top list of Minnesota moose killers

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*Editor’s Note* – What the news report DOESN’T tell us.

The information printed in this news report is misleading and I believe to be intentionally so. What I highlighted below is but one example. Of 173 collard moose, 47 died last year. The report says 1/3 of the 47 (15-16) moose’s deaths were attributed to wolves, continuing on to say that 25% of the 15-16 moose (approx. 4) had illnesses making the moose “easy prey” for wolves.

The dishonesty here (or ignorance) is that such statements lead readers to believe that those 25% of moose would not have been killed by wolves if they hadn’t been sick. That’s just not an extrapolation that can be honestly made. One could just as easily have said that if the wolves hadn’t taken the 4 moose that happened to be ill, they would have taken 4 healthy moose.

The numbers being used lessens the actual impact. We are talking about 173 collared moose. The same article tells us that Minnesota has 3,450 moose. We are not sure that the 173 collared moose are an exact replication of the state’s moose herd. Nonetheless, the 173 collared moose represent approximately .05 % of the total moose herd.

If the 173 is any indication of what is taking place statewide, the math then can tell us that 932 moose died in Minnesota last year and 311 of them because of the existence of wolves.

We are repeatedly told by science that wolves, depending upon circumstances, are going to take a certain number of large prey each year regardless to whether they have disease or not. Making assumptions that had the moose not been ill, the wolves wouldn’t have killed them, becomes a dishonest skewing of factual evidence, in what appears to be attempts to protect the wolves.

How can honest science reach the most accurate conclusions if the scientific process is already skewed to achieve results that place the wolves in a dishonest realm of culpability?

Preliminary results from tracking 173 adult moose that were captured and fitted with GPS radio collars from 2013 to 2015 show that two-thirds of the 47 that later died succumbed to various health problems. Another third were killed by wolves, but 25 percent of those moose had illnesses that made them easy prey, and some that died from health issues had been injured by wolves.

Source: Disease, wolves top list of Minnesota moose killers