OPINIONS ABOUT MOOSE AND MOOSE MANAGEMENT AT THE SOUTHERN EXTENT OF MOOSE RANGE IN CONNECTICUT

Andrew M. LaBonte, Howard J. Kilpatrick, John S. Barclay

Abstract


Increasing moose (Alces alces populations in the northeastern United States present new challenges for wildlife managers who must balance beneficial and adverse aspects of moose populations. It is important that managers understand stakeholder attitudes and values about moose and incorporate such into outreach and management programs. The objective of this research was to assess landowner and hunter perceptions about status, management, and concerns associated with a small moose population in Connecticut. The majority of landowners and hunters correctly believed that <100 moose existed in Connecticut, half believed that the population was increasing but had no opinion about appropriate size, and few had ever observed a moose in Connecticut or been involved in a moose-vehicle accident (MVA). Landowner support for viewing areas was high and moose hunting low unless MVAs increased; support for hunting moose was high among hunters. If human-moose conflicts increase, principally MVAs, we expect reduced public support for the resident moose population. Proactive education and management are suggested to reduce human-moose conflicts, MVAs, and increase acceptance of hunting as a possible population management tool.


Keywords


Alces alces, Connecticut, moose, human dimensions, survey

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