International Moose Count Underway By BOB O’BOBSTON

The UN-sponsored International Moose Census got off to a flying start today with hopes for an increase in the worldwide moose population compared to last year’s disapointing figures. Among the traditional early reporters were Egypt, returning figures of six moose, a twenty percent increase on 2011’s figures of five, and Uruguay whose moose population remains stable at eleven.

According to Robbie McRobson, head of the UN Moose Preservation Council, worldwide moose numbers are expected to grow markedly on last year due to the traditional moose strongholds of Canada and the United States, with the larger developing moose ecologies also poised to make gains.

The largest percentagege increase in moose will likely come from China’’, says McRobson, The Chinese government has invested heavily in moose infrastructure over the past decade, and their committment to macrofauna is beginning to pay dividends’’.

Since 2004 China has expanded moose pasture from 1.5% of arable land to nearly 3.648% and moose numbers are expected to rise to 60,000 making China a net moose exporter for the first time. This is good news for neighbouring Mongolia, a barren moose-wasteland whose inhabitents nonetheless have an insatiable desire for the creatures.

The increase in Beijing-Ulanbataar trade is anticipated to relieve pressure on the relatively strained Russian suppliers, but increase Mongolia’s imbalance of trade with its larger neighbour. Historically the only competitor to China in the far eastern moose markets has been Singapore but the tiny island nation is set to report a net loss, expecting a decrease of more than five percent on last year’s 50,000 moose counted.

The head of Singapore’s Agency for Agriculture, JingFeng Lau, explained to an incredulous Singaporean parliament yesterday that bad weather had contributed to this season’s poor showing, most notably when a cargo of 150 moose were swept out into the Indian ocean in a monsoon.

Yet again the global demand for moose will be met largely by the US and Canada. The recession-hit States is taking comfort in its moose growth figures with gross production expected to break 700,000 and net exports to grow by 2%. The worldwide dominance of Canada shows no signs of abating though with this year’s moose population expected to match last year’s record figures of one hundred million billion.

Europe’s rise as an international moose power will slow slightly this year as a response to the European Union’s move towards standardising the European moose. Stringent quality controls are holding back the development of the eastern european populations compared to last year when they contributed significantly to europe’s strong growth figures.

Norway, which is not an EU member but has observer status, strengthed in numbers relative to the Euro area with numbers of Norweigian moose, known locally as elk’’ expected to rise for the tenth consecutive year, particularly thanks to a strong showing in the last quarter.

As moose season reaches its close, researchers world wide are turning to science in an attempt to boost next year’s figures. NASA stunned the scientific community today with the announcment of their discovery that the moon is significantly smaller than previously believed. This conclusion, which is the conclusion of a tenyear collaborative project, will have profound implications for the moose community as the gravitational field is now known to be of the right strength to support moose in orbit. According to John Johnson, head of the NASA Moon Sizing Experiment the first delivery of moose into low moon orbit could be achieved as early as the third quarter of next year. The technology to nurture moose in space is available now’’, he said, ’’all that is needed is political will’’.