DNR Investigates Moose Population Decline

Created: 02/05/2013 8:25 AM KSTP.com By: Jennie Olson

Crews in Northern Minnesota are taking to the air to save the dwindling moose population.

Over the past six years, the population of the iconic animal has been cut in half. Department of Natural Resources crews in Two Harbors hope to find some clues as to why.

“We have prime-age animals dying – animals that should be fit and healthy,” says wildlife veterinarian Erika Butler. “Just the speed of the decline that we're seeing indicates to me that it's likely health related."

Over the next couple weeks, wildlife experts will use helicopters to track down the animals, dart them, and asses their health. Each moose will also be fitted with a GPS collar, which can alert the DNR when the animal dies. That way the body can provide answers before it decays.

This will be the biggest effort yet to save the species.