Aspen Bibliography

Recent occupation of the Alberta Aspen Parkland Ecoregion by moose

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

32nd North American moose conference and workshop, 20-24 April 1996, Banff, Alberta. Alces



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Significant mortality of moose (Alces alces) occurred throughout broad regions of northern and western Alberta in early 1999. Occurrences involving moose were recorded at local Alberta Natural Resources Service (NRS) district offices. A total of 1130 occurrence reports involving moose throughout Alberta between January 1 and April 30, 1999 were submitted to the author for review. Although there was considerable inherent bias in the sample, some general patterns emerged. Most moose (92%) had evidence of hairloss and 28% of them were dead. In the overall sample, 35% were calves; however in the subsample of dead moose with hairloss, 43% were calves. It is assumed that the hairloss was a result of infestation with winter tick, Dermacentor albipictus. Most occurrences (96%) were within the boreal habitats of northern and western Alberta and half of them were recorded in March (50%). It is apparent that excessive mortality of moose, particularly calves, occurred in late winter. The outbreak is considered a direct result of the interactions among moose, ticks, habitat, and weather. Weather appears to have been the ultimate force driving the interactions. Late winter snow cover and moose densities may provide clues for potential management actions in the subsequent fall period.