Conservation Trumps Politics to Help Manitoba Moose
Moose in Manitoba have declined dramatically, down 90% over the last 20 years. Wolves, ticks and parasites, are the main culprits for the decline. The moose numbers are so bad, hunters are putting down their rifles. First Nations tribes have treaty hunting rights, and Metis tribes have aboriginal hunting rights. Some Manitoba aboriginal leaders say conservation trumps politics during a crisis like this. "I know we have treaty rights to hunt but if there's nothing to hunt, what good are they? We have to support whatever can bring the population back up," said Grand Chief Ron Evans, head of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.
Last year there was a ban on moose hunting in the Swan Lake and Pelican Lake region, that area has now been extended to include the Duck and Porcupine Mountains of western Manitoba. The ban covers game hunting in a triangle bordered by the Saskatchewan border to the west, Lake Winnipegosis to the east and Duck Mountain to the south. Manitoba is thinking of starting similar measures in eastern Manitoba.
The province is now turning two of the moose's biggest predators against each other, by having hunters go after wolves. They are offering $250 per pelt to trappers who also turn over tissue samples, and wolf tags are now good for 2 instead of only one. From Winnipeg Free Press.