THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HUNTER ACCESSIBILITY AND MOOSE CONDITION IN NEWFOUNDLAND
To test whether hunter accessibility correlates with moose condition, the similarity of two classifications of Moose Management Units (MMU’s) in Newfoundland were compared for the years 1974 to 1987. The two classifications based on seven indices of moose condition and mean distance to roads as a measure of hunter accessibility, were not independent. Moose condition may also be related to the productivity of the land for moose and therefore a second comparison of two classifications of MMU’s based on moose condition and land types were also done. Hunter accessibility was better correlated with moose condition than land types and possible explanations for these relationships are discussed. The relationship between hunter accessibility, percent forest cover and moose condition was described using the linear function of the log of the first principle component of seven measures of moose condition. Two measures of moose condition, mean age of females and mean antler points for males best correlated with hunter accessibility while percent yearlings in the harvest and mean antler points for males best correlated with land cover. MMU’s That require greater harvest were identified and proposed management include increasing resident and/or non-resident license quotas as well as winter hunts. Methods of monitoring the success of suggested management practices are discussed.
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