STATUS AND MANAGEMENT OF MOOSE IN MASSACHUSETTS
Moose (Alces alces) have inhabited Massachusetts at various times both before and since the colonial period. However, moose were extirpated with the advent of agricultural and land clearing in the early to mid-1800’s. as agriculture faded in the 1900’s, moose returned to Massachusetts. In recent years sightings of moose have increased dramatically with most occurring during late summer to autumn. Many moose sighted are dispersing young bulls, although reports of calf and cow groups have been increasing. Man's activities, including urbanization, agriculture and high speed automobile travel, make much of Massachusetts unsuitable for both moose ecologically and from a human cultural perspective. Automobile strikes, crop damage and nuisance complaints have increased along with sightings. The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) has developed a moose response protocol and coordinates response activities with other state and local agencies. The current response protocol, molded by public and political constraints, includes monitoring and hazing, immobilization and translocation, and euthanasia depending on potential threats to public safety.
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