HABITAT SELECTION BY MOOSE IN THE YAAK RIVER DRAINAGE, NORTHWESTERN MONTANA
Logging began during the 1950s and is now the primary land use in the Yaak River drainage. The relationships between timber management and moose habitat were evaluated using 669 locations of 12 radio marked moose (Alces alces shirasi) collected between January 1982 and September 1983. Harmonic mean home ranges were used as a tool to delineate available habitat for selection analyses. On a yearlong basis, moose use was greater than expected in: clearcuts, logged areas less than 12 ha in size, areas logged 15-30 years ago, or within 100 m of a cutting unit. Moose selected elevations below 1067 m in winter and above 1524 m in summer. Moose used logged areas more in early winter than during mid and late winter when densely timbered sites were selected. Thirty percent of spring and summer locations were in clearcuts. Cows used thicker vegetation than bulls, but bulls were found more often in timbered areas. Cows with calves and bedded moose used security type habitats more than cows without calves and active moose. Maintaining a mosaic of small, 15-30 year-old logged areas intermixed with mature, closed canopy, timbered stands will provide productive moose habitat in the Yaak valley.
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