March 21, 2011

Investment Funds Long-Term Action Plan For Moose Population Recovery:  Selinger

SWAN RIVER(The province is investing $800,000 to help address alarming declines in moose populations in several areas of the province, Premier Greg Selinger announced here today.

“We are concerned about the decline of the moose population in these areas and we are investing in rebuilding the population,” said Selinger.  “To reverse the decline and restore the population to sustainable numbers, we are consulting First Nations, Métis and other Aboriginal communities, as well as the general public to develop long-term plans to ensure the population is not reduced to this level in the future.”

The areas of concern include Game Hunting Area (GHA) 18 in the Duck Mountain area of west-central Manitoba, GHA 14 in the vicinity of the Swan-Pelican Provincial Forest and GHA 26, which extends from Lake Winnipeg to the Ontario boundary between the Winnipeg and Wanipigow rivers, including Nopiming Provincial Park.

Included in the total program is an additional $190,000 that will be allocated to the Wildlife Enhancement Initiative for aerial surveys related to moose management.  The initiative is dedicated to wildlife management and is related to the number of hunting licences sold in Manitoba.

Other provincial initiatives include:

Increased enforcement to ensure compliance with wildlife regulations.  The Duck Mountain area will get  two additional natural resource officers and better patrol coverage, and a resource officer assigned to         GHA 26, bringing the complement of staff in that area to six.

Two new wildlife biologists to implement all aspects of the moose recovery program including contacts   with First Nations, Métis and Aboriginal people.

Road access management to areas of high moose density including permanent and short-term decommissioning        of all-weather, secondary and winter roads in critical parts of the province.

Wolf management surveys.  Reliable wolf population estimates are critical to understand how wolves are  influencing moose populations and guide options for wolf management.

The province is establishing a moose advisory committee comprised of local groups, Aboriginal organizations and governments to partner with the province in the further development of a moose recovery strategy.

“If moose populations decline too much there is a risk the population may not recover or the recovery period will be extended over many years,” said the premier.  “The 2010 survey results confirm the concerns about the state of local moose populations raised by First Nation communities and licensed hunters.”

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