DISTRIBUTION OF WINTERING MOOSE IN SOUTH CENTRAL LABRADOR AND NORTHEASTERN QUEBEC
This study was conducted as part of the mitigation program established by the Department of National Defence (DND) to minimize potential impacts resulting from the low-level training conducted over the Québec-Labrador peninsula. Overflights were stated to potentially increase energy deficits of moose during late winter, leading to a decrease in survival or productivity. Strip-transect and block surveys were completed during March 1995 to determine the distribution of moose and examined the validity of moose habitat capability maps, within the Low-level Training Area (LLTA) of Labrador and Northeast Québec. Systematic surveys covered 2,210 km of transects throughout the Churchill, Petit Mecatina, Olomane, and Natashquan River valleys. Moose were often absent from areas of apparently suitable habitat. No moose activity was observed within the Olomane River valley or on the Petit Mecatina River valley south of the Labrador border. Results of 17, 10.5 km2 block surveys over areas of greatest moose activity showed that estimated densities were much lower than projected by DND (1994). Moose densities typically ranged from 0 to 0.1/km2, well below values reported for moose elsewhere in their range. Possible factors limiting moose in this apparently suitable habitat are suggested.
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