Parks Canada planning N.L. moose cull
Parks Canada is planning to cull moose in two of Newfoundland and Labrador's national parks in order to save the region's trees, which are being damaged by the animals.
Peter Deering, the manager of resource management at Gros Morne National Park, said the more than 5,000 moose that live in the boundaries of Gros Morne are destroying the park's trees.
"What's happening is that moose are incredibly effective at browsing off those new young trees, preventing a new forest from growing, " said Deering.
He expects there will be a cull in Gros Morne National Park, in western Newfoundland, and Terra Nova National Park, in central Newfoundland.
"Our staff are now working with other wildlife managers in Parks Canada to put together a plan of what a cull could potentially look like in terms of the when, where, how this thing could be implemented," said Deering.
Officials have been working on a plan to save the forest in the 1,787-square-kilometre Gros Morne park for more than a year.
Deering said park officials will be meeting this coming spring to plan the cull.
Moose aren't native to the island of Newfoundland but wildlife officials estimate that since they were introduced to the province more than a century ago, their population has grown to 100,000 animals.
Provincial officials say about 700 moose-vehicle accidents are reported annually across Newfoundland and Labrador. Many of those crashes happen on the highways that run through both Gros Morne and Terra Nova National Parks.
For years, there have been calls for a province-wide cull to prevent those accidents, which are sometimes fatal for vehicle drivers and passengers.
"We've had a lot of injuries and a lot lives lost over the last few years, and this is very, very good news," Eugene Nippard said of the cull. He heads a group representing people involved in accidents with moose that's been pushing for a cull.