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There are now anywhere between 3,440 and 6,780 moose in Minnesota, with the DNR revealing its official estimate is around 4,700. 

What does it mean? For starters, it means the moose population went mostly unchanged since the last DNR survey was conducted in 2020, and the state's moose population remains 47% lower than it was just over 15 years ago.

However, Minnesota's moose population has been mostly stable for the past 11 years, and even though the 2022 estimate is statistically unchanged from 2020, it's still the highest estimated population since 2011, when there were about 5,000 moose.

Another reason for optimism is because about 19% of the current population are calves, which is the highest calf-cow ratio since 2006, when the population was considered "healthy at an estimated 8,800 moose. 

The DNR says it's a good sign for "potential improvement in reproductive success." 

A litany of issues fueled a steep drop in the population – an estimated 55% decrease over the course of a decade, according to a recent study from the DNR. 

Moose face numerous threats, including wolves, though Minnesota moose have also suffered from bacterial infections and parasites, including winter ticks, brainworm and liver flukes. The majority of moose killed by wolves (that were studied by the DNR between 2013-17) were already suffering from pre-existing health conditions. 

The moose population in northwestern Minnesota is virtually gone, which is why the DNR is focused on preserving the viable population in northeastern Minnesota. Many of the health-related issues for the dying moose population in northwestern parts of the state correlates with climate change, specifically warmer summers and winters "in an area of forest edge where tree cover is relatively sparse," the DNR says. 

The are four moose subspecies in North America, with the breed in Minnesota known as the Northwestern moose. Their bodies are nine to 10 feet long and they stand six to six and a half feet tall while weighing up to 1,000 pounds. 

Moose have roamed northern Minnesota since at least the beginning of the 20th Century, according to the DNR. 

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