Moose Management and Research
Publications & Reports
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.
A number of moose research projects are being conducted in Alaska, looking at nutritional needs, habitat use, and predator-prey relationships. Alaska has been a leader in moose research. The Kenai Moose Research Center has captive moose and over the past three decades, hundreds of moose research projects have been conducted there. See Alaska's Kenai Moose Research Center, a World Leader in Moose Science.
- GeoSpatial Survey Operations Manual (PDF 7.3 MB)
- Moose nutrition
- Moose research in Gustavus
- Assessing moose habitat
Additional Research Projects
- Age-specific natural mortality rates of male vs. female moose
- Comparative nutritional status among 6 high-density, high-yield moose subpopulations in Interior Alaska
- Evaluation of moose-habitat relationships in Southeast Alaska
- Identification of factors affecting calf production, calf survival, and survival of female adult moose in Game Management Unit 13
- Response of moose and their predators to wolf reduction and short-term bear removal in a portion of Unit 19D East