A retired Manitoba wildlife biologist is calling for a ban on moose hunting in the southern half of the province.

Vince Crichton says the species has declined over the past four decades to the point where an average of 130 moose remain in each of the nine areas where game hunting is currently allowed. He says that with numbers that low, there shouldn’t be any hunting allowed.

"If we keep going this route there's not going to be anything left,” Crichton said.

In addition to hunting, he says disease and predation by wolves is causing the population to decline.

Manitoba has already imposed bans on moose hunting in some parts of the province and says that it would consider additional closures if they would help.

The Manitoba Wildlife Federation said it supports further closures.

However, Jerry Daniels of the Southern Chiefs' Organization and David Chartrand of the Manitoba Metis Federation say it’s unlikely Indigenous harvesters would support further bans.

"We want to start eating our moose meat again. We want to go back to that because we're missing that it helps health-wise, it helps cost-wise. Our people miss that,” Chartrand said.

Daniels said that the southern chiefs are “not totally opposed” but they want to “look at the real science behind it” before any decisions are made.

Crichton said that he also supports removing wolves in some areas of the province in order to help the moose.

"We're in a situation today that really requires some strategies that are going to be controversial,” he said. “There's no doubt about it.”

The province says it has created a committee to look into the health of the moose population and hired two wildlife biologists to help with situation.