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Associated Press, Published November 20 2013

Scientists: Warmth may explain lag in moose growth

DETROIT – The moose population in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is growing more slowly than before, possibly because of conditions related to a warming climate, scientists say.

The Detroit News reported Tuesday that moose numbers grew at a rate of 10 percent annually between 1997 and 2007. The increase has dropped since then to 2 percent, for an estimated total of 451 moose this year.

“As temperatures have increased, we’re seeing some association with these declining populations,” said Dean Beyer Jr., a wildlife research biologist in Michigan.

Moose are struggling more in some places than others. Minnesota canceled its hunting season for the iconic symbol of the north woods because the population had fallen 35 percent over the past year and 52 percent from 2010.

New England has a much larger moose population and the range there may be expanding, although numbers may be declining in some northeastern states.

In North Dakota, the population appears to be holding its own or growing. But some Rocky Mountain states are experiencing declines. While Canada’s moose population remains large, it’s been falling across the border in Ontario.