Lack Of Forest Fires Hurting Moose Population

Thursday, August 18, 2005 at 14:07



A wildlife expert for the Saskatchewan government says he doesn’t believe over-hunting is the main reason why moose numbers have been declining in the Cumberland Delta.


In fact, Ed Kowal says interest in hunting the animals is down over the years, to the point where hunters applied for less than one-third of the available permits last year.


In years past, there was as much as three moose per square mile in the region. However, a survey in 1997 revealed the population was down to 0.5 moose per square mile.


Kowal says unregulated hunting is a factor that takes down numbers, but he believes First Nations hunters have been made aware of the issue and are holding back.


Kowal also feels a lack of palatable vegetation in the area is the real reason behind the decline.


He notes no major fires have occurred in the delta recently, which has caused the vegetation the moose normally eat to become stagnated.


Kowal says the high number of bears and wolves is another key reason why moose numbers are presently low.