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Newfoundland Moose Cull…

January 8, 2012

Gros Morne National Park

So the animal rights people are furious at the “moose cull” being done this year at Gros Morne and Terra Nova National Parks in Newfoundland. Not understanding, I think, the environmental impact of having five moose per square kilometer where you should have less than one. Newfoundland now has the highest moose density populations in the world.

No doubt, humans created the moose population problem by eradicating the wolf and increasingly confining the moose to smaller and smaller spaces. But that doesn’t mean we should turn our back and just let nature now figure itself out. That would take about a thousand years and the death of the forests in the park and throughout Newfoundland.

The current moose population is killing the forest through a form of infanticide. There are currently so many moose that they are being forced to eat all the new trees, almost as soon as they sprout out of the ground. The forest therefore can’t replace itself, and hasn’t been doing so for quite a while. In fact, the parks’ forests are shrinking. 

And the moose population density means that moose lice populations are also exploding. If you have never seen what moose lice can do to a moose – think of the mangiest dog you have ever seen – and then make that image a thousand times worse. The lice can quite literally drive a moose to madness as they burrow holes in their hides.

So, either Newfoundlanders leave the moose mess to fix itself; leave the moose population to further grow before it implodes on itself, and watch over the next century as the moose die slow suffering deaths of starvation and disease. As well as watch the near total collapse of the eco-system as the Parks’ forest disappear.

Or, they cull the population now, ideally re-introduce predator species back into the parks, and hopefully over a decade or two, the moose population begins to find a more environmentally sustainable equilibrium…

Too bad we couldn’t do the same for that other species on the planet that needs culling.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Marcia Weiner permalink
    January 9, 2012 9:43 am

    Thanks. It is so easy to be unduly influenced in a knee jerk way to our ideological stances. It is unfortunate that everything isn’t an easy black and white, good vs. bad decision. Triage and balance is a frequently necessary.

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