According to DNR Wildlife Research Biologist Dean Beyer the moose population grew slowly to about 215 animals by the turn of the century.
Dr. Dean Beyer of the Michigan DNR monitors the Michigan moose population.
said "from 1997 to 2007 the U.P. moose population was growing by 10 percent a year."
went on to say that "from 2009 to 2013 the moose population only grew by two percent per year."
said the current moose population aerial survey indicates there were about 451 moose in the western U.P. during January 2013.
explained the DNR's survey efforts have been primarily focused on the western U.P. moose population that was re-introduced in the "Moose Lift" program.
explained that the moose herd in the eastern U.P., "likely number fewer than 100."
The source of the eastern U.P. moose is not known for certain.
It is possible that a few scattered moose remained from native moose although it is also likely some immigrated from eastern Ontario or the western U.P.
listed the following factors currently causing mortality in Michigan moose: disease kills 30 percent; trauma (stuck in mud/fall through ice, etc.), 24 percent; 14 percent die from liver flukes; and four percent die from collisions with vehicles.
Current Michigan moose monitoring cannot give an exact figure, although during intensive radio collar monitoring between 1999 to 2005 about five percent of moose emigrated out of the study area.
Brain worm that caused 35 to 40 percent of U.P. moose mortality early after the re-introduction, has recently fallen to only "two percent of the overall moose mortality."
felt that winter ticks that have been very detrimental to moose in some other areas were not as significant a factor in the west U.P.
The researcher did not consider wolf predation to be a significant mortality factor to the west U.P. moose population.
"The moose calf survival rate is higher in the U.P. than many other monitored moose populations, especially those systems with wolves and brown bears," he
"Wolves would more likely target deer than moose in the western U.P. and many of the deer in the core U.P. moose range move to deer yards outside this range in the winter.
Wolves would be more likely to follow the deer away from the moose in the winter," Beyer
Some moose experts have speculated that this hard winter would actually help the moose population.
felt that was a reasonable assumption since "moose have evolved to prosper in deep snow and very cold winters.
"Since the Michigan moose population is currently only growing at two percent per year, the Michigan Natural Resources Commission
is not currently considering a moose season," Beyer