ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -

Minnesota researchers will soon get text messages about dead moose.

A new research project is aimed at understanding an alarming decline in the state's moose count. Through a combination of GPS technology and implanted devices, researchers think they can get a better handle on the locations and causes of death for dead moose.

It's key because moose carcasses deteriorate quickly or become food for prey, meaning resource officials can't get a good read on what's causing them to die off. Last year there were an estimated 4,200 moose in the state -- about half as many as in 2006.

The $1.6 million study will track 150 adult moose and calves. In those with implanted devices, researchers will get a text message upon the animal's death allowing for quick retrieval.