Visitor Counter

hitwebcounter web counter
Visitors Since Blog Created in March 2010

Click Below to:

Add Blog to Favorites

Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

Subscribe via email to get updates

Enter your email address:

Receive New Posting Alerts

(A Maximum of One Alert Per Day)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

the Saskatchewan(Western Canada) Farmland Moose Project, has discovered that Moose are finding ways to carve a living in habitat with less than 1% forest cover in the southern portion of this Province..................."Animals are taking advantage of the area's "knob and kettle" land forms, rolling hills with plentiful tree-ringed sloughs and wetlands".................... "During the heat of the summer days -- "hot" for a moose being above 14 C -- the animals retreat to shade and water, coming out to feed once it cools off"................While true that predators like Bears and Wolves are not present in Saskatchewan farmlands, it is interesting that Tic infestations, Deer brainworm and hotter temperatures do not yet appear to be dampening agents as they are in nearby Minnesota and other Moose habitat across North America

Forest-loving moose learning to thrive on farmland

May 17, 2016
University of Saskatchewan

Mike Reed, helicopter pilot for the capture team, fastens a GPS collar on a netted moose before releasing the animal.
Credit: Ryan Brook
While populations of moose have been declining in much of their North American range, research from the University of Saskatchewan shows how these icons of the northern boreal forest are finding success by moving south into farmers' fields.
"Thirty years ago, seeing moose in the farmland of Saskatchewan would have been very rare but over time they have expanded to these new areas," said Ryan Brook, a wildlife biologist with the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the U of S. "It's unique to see populations well-established in areas with less than one percent forest cover that are dominated by crop production."
Brook, who leads the Saskatchewan Farmland Moose Project, has been working with his colleagues to discover how the moose are succeeding in what used to be considered highly unsuitable habitat. The research team used a net gun fired from a helicopter to capture 40 adult cow moose and fit them with GPS satellite collars in 2013 and 2014 to track the animals' movements for four years.

The team found that the animals are taking advantage of the area's "knob and kettle" land forms, that is, rolling hills with plentiful tree-ringed sloughs and wetlands. During the heat of the summer days -- "hot" for a moose being above 14 C -- the animals retreat to shade and water, coming out to feed once it cools off.
The team's finding are published in the Journal of Wildlife Management.Brook explained this is the first paper ever published on farmland moose, detailing specific ways that the animals select habitat. It also maps overall habitat quality in both summer and winter, which will help support management efforts.
Unfortunately for farmers, what the moose are feeding on is often crops, particularly cereals but also oilseeds such as canola. Crop damage is becoming a concern, particularly in the south central part of Saskatchewan.
Moose are also hazardous for drivers, particularly in Saskatchewan, which has the largest municipal (grid) road network in Canada. The animals' long legs and high centre of gravity create a high risk of driving the main body of the animal through the windshield. Since cows can weigh up to 360 kg and bulls up to 700 kg, collisions can be catastrophic.
Brook explained that since moose have only relatively recently started moving south, there has been little information available to guide management efforts, which "makes this study vitally important."
"There has not been any previous research on farmland moose so a first step is to understand the ecology of these animals to understand habitat selection," he said.
Brook and his colleagues hypothesize that the moose are also doing well because farmland areas have few or no large predators such as wolves or bears that keep populations in check in the boreal forest. Low hunter pressure -- there was not even a moose season in these areas until 2006 -- also contributes.
For now, the province has instituted moose hunting seasons in the affected areas. When feasible, farmers can also protect their crops by fencing off sloughs and associated treed areas to deprive moose of their daytime refuges.

Story Source:
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of SaskatchewanNote: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:
  1. Michel P. Laforge, Nicole L. Michel, Amy L. Wheeler, Ryan K. Brook.Habitat selection by female moose in the Canadian prairie ecozone.The Journal of Wildlife Management, 2016; DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.21095

No comments: