INTEGRATING HABITAT USE AND POPULATION DYNAMICS OF MOOSE IN NORTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the University of New Hampshire initiated research in northern New Hampshire to better understand population dynamics and seasonal habitat use of a moose population that has apparently stabilized, despite optimal habitat and modest harvest levels. In total, 94 moose were captured by helicopter (81 net-gunned and 13 tranquilized) in December 2001-2003 and 2 were darted at salt-licks in July of 2002. Capture mortality attributed to myopathy and injury was 4%. In comparison to measured reproduction during capture (63 and 100%), our ability to measure pregnancy by direct observations (69 and 100%) was validated in 2002-2003. Production was 0.82 and 0.85 calves per adult cow; rate of twinning was 20 and 10%. Calf mortality 2 months post-partum was similar (26 and 27%) each year. Annual mortality of adult/yearling moose was 27 and 12%. Hunting and vehicle collision mortality was 4 (all adult cows) and 6% (all calves but 1) each year. High annual winter calf mortality (38-43%) in late March and early April was associated with the combined effects of malnutrition and winter tick/lung nematodes. Winter home range size was not restricted, and composition of available habitat was similar across seasons although overlap was minimal between seasons. Consideration of habitat and population dynamics data suggests that both density dependent and independent factors could be influencing the study population.
How to Cite
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.