MOOSE AND THEIR MANAGEMENT ON WIND RIVER INDIAN RESERVATION, WYOMING
At the request of the Shoshone and Arapahoe Indian Tribes, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hired a wildlife biologist in 1978 to determine the status of wildlife populations on Wind River Indian Reservation (WRIR) in Wyoming and to develop a wildlife management plan for the Reservation. Information on population size and composition, distribution, habitat use, and food habits of moose on WRIR was collected from May 1978 to October 1981. Historical information regarding former moose numbers and distribution was obtained by interviewing long-time Reservation residents. Approximately 75 moose remain in the Wind River Mountains (WRM). A viable moose population no longer exists in the Owl Creek Mountains (OCM). An estimated 13 moose were harvested annually by Tribal members from 1978-1981. In both the WRM and OCM, moose numbers are reduced from population levels during the 1950s and early 1960s, despite little change in habitat availability or quality. Unregulated hunting by Tribal members appears responsible for the decline. Population objectives of 185 moose in the WRM and 55 moose in the OCM were recommended to the Shoshone and Arapahoe Tribes. Other management objectives are also proposed.
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