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News & Releases
Mountain-Prairie Region

News Release

U.S. Population of Northwestern Moose Does Not Warrant Listing Under the Endangered Species Act

For Immediate Release

September 15, 2020


two moose with chestnut brown fur, one has medium-sized antlers
Moose at Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota. Photo by USFWS

After a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the U.S. population of the northwestern subspecies of moose is not a distinct population segment (DPS) and does not warrant listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The subspecies is currently found in Minnesota, North Dakota and Isle Royale National Park in Michigan.

The agency received a petition from Honor the Earth and the Center for Biological Diversity to list the subspecies as a DPS and protect it under the ESA in 2015. In 2016, the Service published a finding indicating that the petition warranted further review.

The Service considered many factors in this listing determination including reproductive behavior, moose harvest regulations, habitat management and the moose’s conservation status in the U.S. and Canada.

After a comprehensive analysis, the Service determined that the northwestern subspecies of moose is stable and there is no information indicating a physical, physiological, ecological or behavioral difference between the U.S. and Canadian populations. Therefore, the agency determined that the subspecies is not a DPS and does not warrant ESA protection.

“Moose are the largest members of the deer family and play an integral role in human and environmental health,” said Lori Nordstrom, assistant regional director for ecological services in the Service’s Great Lakes Region. “The Service remains committed to conserving moose, and other native species, for generations to come.”

Currently, there are four subspecies of moose in North America. Moose were likely extirpated from the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan and the State of Wisconsin. Recent reintroductions in Michigan were of the eastern subspecies, which likely spread into Wisconsin. The northwestern subspecies of moose historically occurred in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

Read the Service's finding on the northwestern moose.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen in the West, visit our website, or connect with us through any of these social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and Instagram.

– FWS –

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Office of External Affairs

Mountain-Prairie Region

134 Union Blvd

Lakewood, CO 80228

303-236-7905

303-236-3815 FAX

www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/



Contacts

Georgia Parham
(812) 593-8501
Georgia_Parham@fws.gov



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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: September 16, 2020
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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