ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT OF MOOSE IN ONTARIO
Early policy decisions affecting moose (Alces alces) management in Ontario were based on data that were not reliable, but were the only basis available for policy development. As data collection increased in accuracy and reliability, policy decisions have also improved. In the last decade of the 20th century, adaptive management has been discussed and advocated as the best approach to managing natural resources since it was first developed in the early 1970s. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has instituted at least some of the characteristics of adaptive management in managing moose. The 1960s and 1970s were periods of extensive learning and maturation for biologists and wildlife managers with respect to Ontario’s moose herd. The experience and knowledge gained from these periods were used to develop goals and objectives which would eventually become Ontario’s 1980 moose policy and the first steps of adaptive management. The later phases of the adaptive approach, to evaluate the earlier objectives and learn from them, are reviewed and discussed. The goals established in 1980, probably cannot be achieved, however, the learning associated with the process is important in order to manage adaptively.
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