THE VALUE OF AERIAL INVENTORIES IN MANAGING MOOSE POPULATIONS
Extensive moose (Alces alces) aerial inventories were conducted in northern Ontario from January to March, 1976. The study: (1) looked at the efficiency and accuracy of a Piper PA 12 aircraft, (2) compared results between plots and transects among 9 periods of the winter, (3) tested a method of stratifying plots by recording tracks on transect surveys, and (4) tested aerial photographs for use in mapping of sightings. The Piper PA 12 crew found 94% of the moose and correctly sexed 98 and 87% of the adults and calves. All sightings were accurately mapped. The plot and transect methods gave similar inventory results except that: (1) an average of 25% more calves were estimated from plot surveys, (2) transects unlike plots provided a distribution pattern of moose, (3) transects eliminated the cost and time needed to stratify an area for plot surveys, and (4) generally tighter confidence limits were obtained from plot surveys. Inventory data collected during the 9 survey periods were similar. The method of pre-stratifying the plots by tracks was judged to be successful since the desired confidence limits were achieved. Foldable mosaics of aerial photographs proved easy to handle and useful in precisely mapping the locations of moose and tracks.
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