HOW MOOSE SELECT FORESTED HABITAT IN GROS MORNE NATIONAL PARK, NEWFOUNDLAND

Brian E McLaren, S Taylor, S H Luke

Abstract


Current Parks Canada policy does not allow moose (Alces alces) to be hunted in National Parks in Newfoundland and Labrador; combined with the extirpation of wolves (Canis lupus), this policy creates a situation where introduced moose (A. a. americana) are relatively predator-free in Gros Morne National Park. Forested areas of this park are frequently disturbed by defoliating insects resulting in extensive young conifer forest; increasingly, more areas are identified as failing to regenerate to normal tree densities or “not sufficiently restocked” (NSR). We used data from GPS-collared moose that occupy areas of the park where limited timber cutting is allowed for domestic purposes and a very detailed and current forest inventory exists; such areas are still dominated by insect and wind disturbance, including a large designation of NSR forest. We hoped to determine whether moose are found preferentially in disturbed forest versus other landscape patches during summer or winter, during day or night, and under certain temperature conditions. Variability in habitat availability and habitat use by moose appears to preclude forest management options directed at specific habitat types.

Keywords


Alces alces; absence of predators; Gros Morne National Park; moose; Newfoundland; overabundance; population dynamics; resource selection function

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