THE IMPACT OF HUMAN RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES: MOOSE AS A CASE STUDY

Wiebke Neumann, Göran Ericsson, Holger Dettki

Abstract


Continual expansion of human development and recreational activity into previously undisturbed environments and wildlife habitat highlights the need for better understanding of behavioral impacts of human-induced disturbances on wildlife, especially where harvest is the main source of mortality. In a controlled field experiment in northern Sweden, we exposed 29 adult free-ranging GPS-collared female moose (Alces alces) to either off-trail hiking or snowmobiling activity to study individual response to non-lethal human activities. Both experimental disturbances resulted in significant increase in movement rates and diurnal activity ranges, and prompted moose to leave the area. Movement rates were elevated for 1 and 2 h following hiking and snowmobiling, respectively. We found that the overall moose response to human-induced disturbances was short in duration, suggesting negligible effect on the overall energy budget of moose in good condition when disturbances occur at moderate frequency.

Keywords


Alces alces; behavior; disturbance; hiking; human impact; response; snowmobiles; Sweden

Full Text:

PDF