Minister of Natural Resources David Orazietti issued the following statement on moose population and sustainability:
In Ontario, the Ministry of Natural Resources monitors moose populations and carefully regulates hunting to ensure populations remain sustainable.
This past winter, the ministry completed moose aerial inventory surveys for 25 wildlife management units across the province. The surveys help us estimate moose population trends and complement other sources of data, such as hunter surveys and information obtained locally.
The surveys just completed have revealed some areas of concern, including declines in the moose population in some parts of northeastern and northwestern Ontario.
Moose populations fluctuate over time, and factors such as harvest, climate, parasites and predation can all contribute to shifts in the moose population.
However, wildlife populations across North America are facing a range of existing and growing pressures, and other jurisdictions have also been seeing declining moose populations, including Manitoba and Minnesota.
MNR will continue to monitor Ontario’s moose population and continue collaboratively with key stakeholders, the hunting community, as well as moose managers and researchers from neighbouring areas which have also seen declines.
The number of moose tags available varies over time according to updated harvest information, population estimates and demographics.
Hunters will see reductions in tag allocations for 2014 in some wildlife management units in the northeast and northwest.
This year’s revised moose tag numbers represent part of the collaborative efforts going on across the province to ensure our moose populations remain healthy and resilient.
The ministry continues to explore options to monitor and manage any changes in the moose population.
This includes the Moose Project, designed to assess the number of moose in the province and set long-term population objectives, as well as assess how and when moose can be hunted.
Details about the Moose Project will be released shortly, and I look forward to discussions with stakeholders, including key representatives from northern organizations, communities, and the public on this endeavour.
The Ministry of Natural Resources remains committed to sustainable and healthy moose populations in Ontario.
Hon. David Orazietti
Minister of Natural Resources