Moose face pressure from a number of factors in Ontario’s complex ecosystem, including parasites, changing climate, habitat, hunting and predators.
Recent moose population survey results suggest moose numbers are decreasing in parts of the province. However, Minnesota and Manitoba have seen significant drops in moose numbers in recent years.
Ontario’s Moose Project has explored ways to reduce the pressures on moose and help moose numbers reach desired levels.
Ontario made two changes resulting from Phase 1 of the initiative:
- Beginning in 2015, the hunting season for calf moose was shortened in Northern Ontario
- Starting in 2016 there will be a delay in the start of the moose season by one week across much of Northern Ontario
Ontario sought comments on three proposed changes as part of Phase 2. After carefully considering the comments received the following decisions have been made:
- Policy posting #012-6074 proposed new moose population objectives for Wildlife Management Units across the province. Population objectives have been approved with minor modifications resulting from input received. The final objectives can be viewed in the tables below.
- Regulation posting #012-6073 proposed changes to wolf/coyote hunting regulations in northern Ontario to address concerns about the potential impact of wolves on moose populations. The decision has been made not to proceed with this proposal.
- Regulation posting #012-6075 proposed minor changes to the moose hunting season in southern Ontario to add a day and better align the season with the hunting season for calf moose in northern Ontario. This proposal has been approved but implementation will be delayed until fall 2017 to give hunters time to plan for the change.
If you would like to review the decision notices please visit the Environmental Registry and type in the posting numbers above.
The actions taken under Moose Project are designed to help sustain and grow Ontario’s moose populations. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry will monitor the effectiveness of changes made as part of the Moose Project and may consider further actions if necessary in future years based on the input gathered through Moose Project discussions.