MODELLING THE SELECTIVE MOOSE HARVEST PROGRAM IN ONTARIO
Information from adult tag quotas submitted by Districts, aerial moose inventories and District and Provincial Hunter mail surveys were used to evaluate the response of moose herds in selected WMUs to the implementation of the Selective Harvest Moose System. This paper evaluates both the effectiveness of using provincial data to plan harvests at the WMU level and the effectiveness with which the Guidelines were implemented to regulate the harvest in order to meet specific population objectives. There were significant differences between the modelled and surveyed population trends. The model accurately emulated the population trend in 4 of 16 WMUs. In 8 cases the modelled and actual population trends moved in opposite directions and in 4 cases the observed population trend was in the same direction but at a lower or higher rate than that modelled. This suggests that harvest planning using data and assumptions based on provincially averaged population parameters is not appropriate. In addition to a model which was not appropriate in many cases, management decisions were not sufficiently responsive to meet stated objectives. Planned moose harvest quotas were usually calculated correctly to meet the objective. However, cow harvests were excessive in 87 of 117 harvests where it was estimated.
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