Pine beetle epidemic may be to blame for drop in moose numbers

The “most-plausible” explanation for a serious decline in moose populations in the Cariboo is the mountain pine beetle epidemic, especially the large-scale salvage logging that followed, a report for the B.C. government finds.

The consultant’s report said the “vulnerability of moose could have increased due either to the change in habitat (dead trees) or to increased salvage logging removal of cover) or to the change in access associated with salvage logging (more roads).”

In other words, vast clearcuts left moose exposed on the landscape — to human and wild predators — and a proliferation of logging roads made it easier for hunters on motorized vehicles to get at them.