Doug Smith: What's killing Minnesota's moose?
Wildlife researchers estimate that there are 5,500 moose in that region of the state. With a 23 percent margin of error, the estimate is not statistically different from last year's estimate of 7,600, but it supports other evidence that the moose population is declining.
Okay, here's what I don't understand. The convenient excuse Minnesota's moose managers give is that the population is declining because of Global Warming. The numbers reported show a possible drop in population of 2,100 moose (nearly 28%) within that same geographic range during the past 12 months. That's potentially a significant population decrease that would surely suggest the past year was ABOVE NORMAL in temps. Correct?
Problem is when you analyze the climatological data during the past 12 months, Minnesota (as a state average, mind you) experienced near normal temps. Check out this chart:
Certainly I'm not a trained climatologist or wildlife manager, but the facts I'm being asked to accept by our DNR as a viable explanation for the current Minnesota moose population decline just doesn't add up. Could it be that Global Climate Change plays an affect on our wildlife populations? Sure, it probably does to a much lesser extent–although that has not yet been fully proven to my satisfaction. Yet, if you want me to buy into the theory a warming environment is killing our moose possibly at such an alarming rate as stated in this story…then make sure the facts used point to that very same conclusion.
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