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Alces : A Journal Devoted to the Biology and Management of Moose     Open Access  
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Journal Cover
Alces : A Journal Devoted to the Biology and Management of Moose
Number of Followers: 0  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2293-6629
Published by Lakehead University Homepage  [2 journals]
  • THE STATUS AND MANAGEMENT OF MOOSE IN NORTH AMERICA - CIRCA 2015

    • Authors: H.R. Timmermann, Arthur R. Rodgers
      Pages: 1 - 22
      Abstract: Both declining and increasing moose (Alces alces) populations have been reported across North America over the last decade. We surveyed all jurisdictions with extant moose populations to determine the extent of these population trends. In 2014–2015, the North American moose population was estimated at ~1,000,000 animals distributed in 30 jurisdictions, which is unchanged since the turn of the century. Populations occurred in 12 Canadian provinces or territories, and in at least 18 states. In the past 5 years, moose density is believed to be increasing in 9, relatively stable in 8, and declining in 11 jurisdictions; estimates of change were unavailable in 2 jurisdictions. In 2014–2015, an estimated 425,537 licensed moose hunters harvested 82,096 moose in 23 jurisdictions. Hunter numbers increased by 39,118, whereas total harvest remained virtually unchanged from a decade earlier. Harvests by Indigenous and subsistence users, although largely unquantified, are believed substantial and important to quantify in certain jurisdictions. A variety of active and passive harvest strategies used to manage moose are discussed.
      PubDate: 2017-06-01
      Issue No: Vol. 53 (2017)
       
  • HETEROGENEITY AND POWER TO DETECT TRENDS IN MOOSE BROWSE UTILIZATION OF
           WILLOW COMMUNITIES

    • Authors: Braden O. Burkholder, Nicholas J. DeCesare, Robert A. Garrott, Sylvanna J. Boccadori
      Pages: 23 - 39
      Abstract: Monitoring of browse utilization of plant communities is consistently recommended as an important component of monitoring moose (Alces alces) populations across regions. We monitored winter browse utilization by moose within a willow (Salix spp.) -dominated winter range of Montana in 2008–2010. We sought to improve our understanding of: 1) spatiotemporal heterogeneity of intensity of moose browsing across the winter range, 2) species-specific selection of willow by moose during winter, and 3) appropriate sample sizes, placement, and stratification of monitoring sites for estimating browse utilization. During 3 consecutive winters we monitored 108–111 transect segments, each 50 m in length, in a systematic distribution across willow communities and assessed the effects of covariates potentially predictive of variation in browsing. Mean annual estimated browse utilization across all segments was 11.5% of sampled twigs in 2008 (95% CI = 9.4 – 13.7%), 8.0% in 2009 (95% CI = 6.2 – 9.8%), and 8.3% in 2010 (95% CI = 6.5 – 10.1%). Modeling of variation in browse utilization revealed positive relationships with the proportion of preferred species (β = 0.44,P = 0.05) and previously browsed willow plants (β = 3.13, P < 0.001), and a negative relationship with willow patch width (β = 0.002, P < 0.001). We found that planeleaf (Salix planifolia), Wolf ʼs (S. wolfii), and Boothʼs willow (S. boothii) were the most consistently preferred species, whereas Drummondʼs (S. drummondiana) and Geyer willow (S. geyeriana) willow were moderately preferred; Lemmonʼs willow (S. lemmonii) was used less than expected. Power analyses indicated that detecting a 10% increase in browse utilization with 95% confidence in consecutive years required measuring 38–41, 50-m segments. Because systems with low and heterogeneous browse utilization of willow present challenges for efficient monitoring, we encourage power analyses as a means of evaluating sampling protocols, in addition to consideration of covariates predictive of spatiotemporal heterogeneity.
      PubDate: 2017-06-01
      Issue No: Vol. 53 (2017)
       
  • SUSCEPTIBILITY OF WINTER TICK LARVAE AND EGGS TO ENTOMOPATHOGENIC FUNGI -
           BEAUVERIA BASSIANA, BEAUVERIA CALEDONICA, METARHIZIUM ANISOPLIAE, AND
           SCOPULARIOPSIS BREVICAULIS

    • Authors: Jay A. Yoder, Peter J. Pekins, Blake W. Nelson, Christian R. Randazzo, Brett P. Siemon
      Pages: 41 - 51
      Abstract: An isolate of the soil fungus Scopulariopsis brevicaulis was identified from the surface of female winter ticks (Dermacentor albipictus) collected from recently dead moose (Alces alces) calves in New Hampshire in the northeastern United States. It was the sole isolate, and it matched with 98% nucITS similarity (molecular systematics Blast match) to S. brevicaulis species from soil and other tick species. Inoculation of tick larvae and eggs with 108 spores/mL + 0.05% Tween (aqueous inoculum) resulted in mortality, reduced survival time, and recovery of S. brevicaulis from within tick tissues. Rapid water loss and death from dehydration were the pathogenic consequences of the fungal infection. Three entomopathogenic fungal isolates from laboratory culture (Beauveria bassiana, B. caledonica,and Metarhizium anisopliae) inoculated concurrently at the same dose, were slightly less pathogenic to eggs than larvae of winter ticks. We conclude that S. brevicaulis imposes a limitation on the free-living stages of the winter tick population in specific environmental conditions, but commercial fungal treatments as used in local situations to control ticks, are impractical as a means of controlling winter tick density across moose habitats.
      PubDate: 2017-06-01
      Issue No: Vol. 53 (2017)
       
  • SEASONAL VARIATION OF NUTRITIONAL HORMONES IN CAPTIVE FEMALE MOOSE

    • Authors: Cory J. Stantorf, C. Loren Buck, Duane H. Keisler, William B. Collins, Donald E. Spalinger
      Pages: 53 - 64
      Abstract: The health status of animals may be inferred from the patterns of hormonal concentrations and other chemical characteristics in blood samples. Baseline endocrine data representing the nutritional and reproductive condition of moose are currently unknown. In this study, we examined the seasonal patterns of 3 nutritional hormones (leptin, ghrelin, insulin-like growth factor-1) in 3 captive, non-pregnant female moose (Alces alces) fed a maintenance diet from November to August. Plasma concentrations for leptin, ghrelin, and IGF-1 averaged 1.36 ± 0.81 ng/mL, 0.229 ± 0.110 ng/mL, and 114.0 ± 30.5 ng/mL, respectively; only ghrelin displayed a seasonal change. Plasma ghrelin concentration was significantly elevated (P < 0.001) during winter months suggesting it may be sensitive
      to seasonal changes and indicative of nutritional status.
      PubDate: 2017-09-10
      Issue No: Vol. 53 (2017)
       
  • PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANTS IN THE LIVERS OF MOOSE HARVESTED IN THE
           SOUTHERN NORTHWEST TERRITORIES, CANADA

    • Authors: Nicholas C. Larter, Derek Muir, Xiaowa Wang, Danny G. Allaire, Allicia Kelly, Karl Cox
      Pages: 65 - 83
      Abstract: Moose (Alces alces) are an important traditional and spiritual resource for residents of the southern Northwest Territories and local residents are concerned about contaminants that may be present in the country foods they consume. As part of a larger program looking at contaminants in moose organs, we collected liver samples from moose harvested in two separate but adjoining regions within the Mackenzie River drainage area, the Dehcho and South Slave. We analyzed liver samples for a wide range of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT related compounds, toxaphene, brominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs). Overall concentrations of major groups of POPs (total (Σ) PCBs, ΣPBDEs, ΣPFASs were consistently low (generally < 2 ng/g wet weight) in all samples and comparable to the limited data available from moose in Scandinavia. PFASs were the most prominent group with geometric means (range) of 1.3 (0.81–2.5) ng/g ww in the Dehcho and 0.93 (0.63–1.2) ng/g ww in the South Slave region. Decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) was the most prominent PBDE congener, similar to that found in other arctic/subarctic terrestrial herbivores. In general, BDE-209 and PFASs, which are particle-borne and relatively non-volatile, were the predominant organic contaminants.
      PubDate: 2017-08-21
      Issue No: Vol. 53 (2017)
       
  • FECUNDITY AND SUMMER CALF SURVIVAL OF MOOSE DURING 3 SUCCESSIVE YEARS OF
           WINTER TICK EPIZOOTICS

    • Authors: Henry Jones, Peter J. Pekins, Lee E. Kantar, Matt O'Neil, Daniel Ellingwood
      Pages: 85 - 98
      Abstract: Moose (Alces alces) populations in northern New Hampshire and western Maine experienced 3 successive years of high winter tick infestations (epizootics) in 2014–2016 that resulted in late-winter calf mortality rates >70%. To assess productivity in these populations, we measured fecundity rates of yearling and adult cow moose, and neonatal and summer calf survival. Parturition, fecundity, and survival were measured via direct observation by stalking VHF and GPS radio-collared cows (n = 177) in May-August, 2014–2016. Calving rates for yearlings and adults averaged 0 and 57%, respectively; there was no twinning documented. Summer calf survival to August was high overall (83%), with 85% of the mortality occurring in the first week of life. Calving and twinning rates declined since last measured in New Hampshire in 2002–2005 and were below the North American average; conversely, summer survival of calves was considered normal. Given that optimal habitat has increased in the past 15 years in the study area that is dominated by commercial forestry, lower productivity is presumably related to the additive impacts of successive winter tick epizootics on year-round condition of cows.
      PubDate: 2017-08-21
      Issue No: Vol. 53 (2017)
       
  • STATUS AND TRENDS OF MOOSE POPULATIONS AND HUNTING OPPORTUNITY IN THE
           WESTERN UNITED STATES

    • Authors: M. Steven Nadeau, Nicholas J. DeCesare, Douglas G. Brimeyer, Eric J. Bergman, Richard B. Harris, Kent R. Hersey, Kari K. Huebner, Patrick E. Matthews, Timothy P. Thomas
      Pages: 99 - 112
      Abstract: We review the state of knowledge of moose (Alces alces shirasi) in the western US with respect to the species’ range, population monitoring and management, vegetative associations, licensed hunting opportunity and hunter harvest success, and hypothesized limiting factors. Most moose monitoring programs in this region rely on a mixture of aerial surveys of various formats and hunter harvest statistics. However, given the many challenges of funding and collecting rigorous aerial survey data for small and widespread moose populations, biologists in many western states are currently exploring other potential avenues for future population monitoring. In 2015, a total of 2,263 hunting permits were offered among 6 states, with 1,811 moose harvested and an average success rate per permit-holder of 80%. The spatial distribution of permits across the region shows an uneven gradient of hunting opportunity, with some local concentrations of opportunity appearing consistent across state boundaries. On average, hunting opportunity has decreased across 56% of the western US, remained stable across 17%, and increased across 27% during 2005–2015. Generally, declines in hunting opportunity for moose are evident across large portions (62–89%) of the “stronghold” states where moose have been hunted for the longest period of time (e.g., Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming). In contrast, increases in opportunity appear more common at peripheries of the range where populations have expanded, including most of Colorado, northeastern Washington, southern Idaho, and eastern Montana. There are many factors of potential importance to moose in this region, including parasites, predators, climate, forage quality, forage quantity, and humans. State wildlife agencies are currently conducting a variety of research focused on population vital rates, the development of monitoring techniques, forage quality, trace mineral levels, and evaluation of relative impacts among potential limiting factors.
      PubDate: 2017-08-21
      Issue No: Vol. 53 (2017)
       
  • YUKON MOOSE: I. SEASONAL RESOURCE SELECTION BY MALES AND FEMALES IN A
           MULTI-PREDATOR BOREAL ECOSYSTEM

    • Authors: Alice M. McCulley, Katherine L. Parker, Michael P. Gillingham
      Pages: 113 - 136
      Abstract: Moose (Alces alces) in Yukon experience an extreme range of thermal conditions, highly variable snow depths, natural and anthropogenic disturbances, predation by wolves and grizzly bears, and hunting pressure. Our objective was to identify variables that best explained habitat-selection patterns of moose in south-central Yukon for use in land-use planning and impact assessment. We evaluated selection of land-cover class, elevation, aspect, predation risk, and harvest vulnerability using resource selection functions. We created pooled models for males and females by averaging models for individuals by sex and season. Selection of shrub-dominated land cover highlighted the importance of forage accessibility throughout the year. Selection for elevation, aspect, and cover changed throughout the year, as influenced by climatic conditions. By selecting mixed cover types during calving and summer, female moose presumably balanced needs for both cover and forage. Males minimized harvest vulnerability during rut. Moose, in general, demonstrated highly variable habitat selection; however, consistent individual responses between sexes supported trends identified by pooled selection coefficients, as well as detected trends among males and females. The greatest amount of individual variation occurred during the growing season and the least amount during late winter, suggesting that climatic factors limited the options available to moose at a critical time of the year.
      PubDate: 2017-09-20
      Issue No: Vol. 53 (2017)
       
  • YUKON MOOSE: II. RANGE SIZES, MOVEMENT RATES, AND USE OF ELEVATION AND
           LAND COVER BY MALES AND FEMALES

    • Authors: Alice M. McCulley, Katherine L. Parker, Michael P. Gillingham
      Pages: 137 - 157
      Abstract: Moose (Alces alces), as a focal species in many northern communities, are increasingly subjected to anthropogenic activities. We studied range use by moose (males and females with and without calves) to enable more effective land-use planning in south-central Yukon. We detected seasonal differences in range sizes, movement rates, and use of elevation and land cover by global positioning system (GPS)-collared individuals, reflecting the responses of individuals to changing resource availability that is characteristic of boreal landscapes. During winter, moose in the South Canol area generally used smaller ranges at lower elevations and moved at lower rates within them, presumably limited by snow depths. They moved up in elevation throughout summer, reaching maximum elevations during rut and early winter. Moose used conifer stands, which were prevalent on the landscape, more than any other land-cover class throughout the year. Their use of upland and lowland shrub classes varied with season, with highest combined use of shrub-dominated land cover in early and late winter, likely reflecting the importance of shrubs as winter forage. We were unable to identify significant differences between the sexes or relative to reproductive status (i.e., calf presence). Differences between these groups in meeting requirements for forage and cover may be more discrete at the finer scale of microsite characteristics.
      PubDate: 2017-09-20
      Issue No: Vol. 53 (2017)
       
  • MOOSE AND DEER POPULATION TRENDS IN NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO: A CASE HISTORY

    • Authors: Bruce Ranta, Murray Lankester
      Pages: 159 - 179
      Abstract: Many interrelated factors contribute to the rise and fall of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and moose (Alces alces) populations in the mixed boreal forests of eastern North America where these species often cohabit. A question not satisfactorily answered is why do moose populations periodically decline in a pronounced and prolonged way while deer populations continue to do well during times when habitat conditions appear good for both' Long-term historical data from the Kenora District of northwestern Ontario, Canada provided an opportunity to better understand temporal relationships between trends in deer and moose numbers and landscape-level habitat disturbances, ensuing forest succession, climate, predators, and disease. Over the past 100 years, moose and deer have fluctuated through 2 high-low population cycles. Deer numbers were high and moose numbers were low in the 1940s and 50s following a spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana) outbreak. By the early 1960s, deer trended downwards and remained low during an extended period with frequent deep-snow winters; as deer declined, moose recovery was evident. Moose increased through the 1980s and 1990s as did deer, apparently in response to considerable habitat disturbance, including another spruce budworm outbreak and easier winters. However, despite conditions that were favourable for both species, moose declined markedly beginning in the late 1990s, and by 2012 were at very low levels district-wide while deer numbers remained high. Despite the moose decline being coincident with a short-lived winter tick (Dermacentor albipictus) epizootic in the early 2000s and increasing numbers of wolves (Canis lupus), we argue that the meningeal worm (Parelaphostrongylus tenuis) likely played a major role in this moose decline.
      PubDate: 2017-11-09
      Issue No: Vol. 53 (2017)
       
  • SUPPLEMENTARY - PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANTS IN THE LIVERS OF MOOSE
           HARVESTED IN THE SOUTHERN NORTHWEST TERRITORIES, CANADA

    • Authors: Nicholas C. Larter
      Pages: 1 - 33
      Abstract: Supplementary Methods and Results
      Issue No: Vol. 53
       
 
 
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