MANAGING MOOSE WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF POPULATION DYNAMICS THEORY
Moose managers have historically operated under the implicit assumptions that either hunting was compensatory or the population was very stable and could absorb the impacts of hunting without change. The experience of declines of moose populations throughout North America has proven both assumptions false. Many theoretical forms of population response to harvesting are possible, from no change to catastrophic declines. Different management strategies are required for different expected scenarios. The presence of predators is particularly critical in determining the range of system behaviours that could be expected. A more scientifically precise method of reaching management decisions that incorporated hypothesis testing would lead to quicker gain of knowledge. An active adaptive approach to moose management is recommended to reduce the risks and costs of failure.
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