- By the late 1800s, only a handful of moose remained in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
- In the mid-1980s, moose were translocated from Ontario, Canada.
- In 2019, an estimated 509 moose were in the western Upper Peninsula.
The Need for Management
In the late 1800s, moose no longer existed in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and only a handful remained in the Upper Peninsula. Many factors contributed to their decline, including extensive logging leading to habitat loss, a fatal neurological disease called brainworm, predators and unregulated hunting.
A combination of the 1980s translocation, close monitoring of the migratory patterns and health of the herd, and regulated hunting has helped the moose population rebound. As of spring 2019, approximately 509 moose were in the western Upper Peninsula. Thanks to hunting licenses, funding exists to continue to monitor, conserve and management Michigan’s moose population.
The steady rise in the number of healthy adult moose stems from multiple factors, including:
- Relocation efforts of moose from Ontario, Canada, to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the 1980s.
- Biennial aerial moose surveys conducted to help biologists monitor population growth and movement.
- Making sure motorists and residents in surrounding areas are aware of possible moose encounters.