Re-evaluating the northeastern Minnesota moose decline and the role of wolves

L. David Mech, John Fieberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

We re-evaluated findings from Lenarz et al. (2009) that adult moose (Alces alces) survival in northeastern Minnesota was related to high January temperatures and that predation by wolves (Canis lupus) played a minor role. We found significant inverse relationships between annual wolf numbers in part of the moose range and various moose demographics from 2003 to 2013 that suggested a stronger role of wolves than heretofore believed. To re-evaluate the temperature findings, we conducted a simulation study, mimicking the approach taken by Lenarz et al. (2009), to explore the potential for concluding a significant relationship exists between temperature and survival, when no association exists. We found that the high R2s and low probabilities associated with the regression models in Lenarz et al. (2009) should be viewed cautiously in light of the large number of fitted models (m = 45) and few observations (n = 6 for each of 5 response variables). Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1143-1150
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
Volume78
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

Keywords

  • Alces alces
  • Canis lupus
  • Minnesota
  • climate change
  • moose predation
  • survival wolf
  • temperature

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