STATUS AND MANAGEMENT OF MOOSE IN THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES

David W. Wattles, Stephen DeStefano

Abstract


Moose (Alces alces) populations have been recovered in much of their historic range in the northeastern United States in the past 30 years, with their southern range edge extending to southern New England and northern New York. This southerly expansion occurred when certain other populations in the United States were in decline along the southern range edge, with climate change often cited as a probable cause. The areas that moose have recently occupied in the northeastern United States are some of the most densely human populated in moose range, which has raised concern about human safety and moose-vehicle collisions (MVC). We conducted a literature search about moose in the northeastern United States, and distributed a questionnaire and conducted phone interviews with regional biologists responsible for moose management to determine the status of moose, management activity, and research deficiencies and needs. Moose numbers appear stable throughout much of the region, with slow population growth in northern New York. Management activity ranges from regulated harvest of moose in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, to no active management in southern New England and New York. The combined annual harvest in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont is >3,000. MVCs are a widespread regional concern with >1,000 occurring annually involving several human fatalities. Research should address impact of parasitism by winter tick (Dermacentor albipictus) and brain-worm (Parelaphostrongylus tenuis) on productivity and mortality of moose, influence of climate change on population dynamics and range, and conflicts in areas with high human population density.

Keywords


Management; Status; New England; New York

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