Alaska Department of Fish and Game
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Managing moose involves looking at predators, habitat, human harvest, other non-harvest mortality (severe winters, vehicles and trains), and the composition of populations – cows, calves and bulls – and these elements are touched upon in this section. Population density, habitat, and harvest vary from area to area, so each Game Management Unit (GMU) is presented separately in this section.
In some areas, habitat limits the potential size of moose populations, and concentration of moose and open habitat creates the potential for excessive harvests in accessible areas. In other regions it is unknown whether predators or habitat are more limiting moose populations, although some are clearly held back by bear and wolf predation. Moose mortality due to vehicles is significant in some areas where human population and vehicle traffic continues to increase. Land clearing activities associated with agriculture, development and road construction has been responsible for the increase in moose browse that attract moose to highways. The number of moose killed by trains seems to be related to snowfall and varies widely from year to year.
Without fire or other disturbance, forests mature and browse - and moose populations - decrease. Fire, mechanical manipulation, and post-logging site work, which encourage hardwood regeneration, are beneficial for moose habitat and have been conducted on some sites. Ice-scouring also helps to rejuvenate willow stands. After logging, if site preparation is not conducted or is done inadequately, blue-joint grass initially crowd out hardwood and spruce seedlings, creating less desirable moose habitat and slowing forest succession.
Currently, ADF&G has intensive management areas in Units 9D, 13, 16B, 19A, 19D-East, 20E and parts of parts of 12, 20B, 20D, and 25C, where the primary management objective is to provide high harvests of ungulates for human use.
See the status and trends section for details about management practices in specific areas.