WINTER MOOSE POPULATION CHARACTERISTICS DURING PRE-FLOODING STAGES OF HYDRO-ELECTRIC DEVELOPMENT IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
Winter moose population characteristics were studied in 1977-1983 in the Columbia valley region of east-central British Columbia, an area currently experiencing hydro-electric development. The area population of approximately 250 moose was stable during the study. A total of 2016 moose observations in 1182 groups were made using intensive ground observation and helicopter survey methods. Mean group size was negatively correlated with time over the winter period. Cow-calf milk units were part of 74% of groups with >2 moose. Winter age composition averaged 27.7% calves, 16.8% yearlings and 53.6% adults. Sex ratios of calves and yearlings were equal while adult sex ratios averaged 40 bulls/100 cows. There were significant declines in calf/cow ratios and twinning rates over the winter period. Population parameters were rate of increase of 0, gross productivity of 57%, and net productivity of 20%. There was 67% calf mortality during the first year of life. Yearling recruitment of about 42 moose was approximately equal to adult mortality.
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