WUOMFM

Survey shows rebound in western U.P. moose population

Jun 12, 2017

The moose population in the western Upper Peninsula appears to be rebounding after taking a dip a few years ago.

Moose were reintroduced into the western U.P. in the 1980s. Their range there covers about 1,400 square miles in parts of Marquette, Baraga, and Iron Counties. 

The moose population in the area grew to 451 in 2013 before dropping down to 285 in 2015.

But Michigan Department of Natural Resources spokesman John Pepin says the just completed aerial survey counted 378 moose.

“I think the fact there is an increased number, or a rebounding of the moose population here over the last couple of years, is going to hearten a lot of people who have never seen a moose in their life,” said Pepin. 

There is some concern about the future of moose in the western U.P. That's because the percentage of calves in the population keeps falling, even as overall numbers rebound. Calves made up 22 percent of the moose population was in 2013.  That fell to 19 percent in the latest count.

There are also moose populations in the eastern U.P. and Isle Royale.