Weighing up to 1,000 pounds and towering at more than 6 feet at the shoulder, the Shiras moose is Colorado's largest big-game animal. In addition to its massive size, the moose is also one of Colorado's biggest conservation success stories.
While common today, the Shiras moose was quite rare in Colorado throughout most of the 20th century. Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) biologists believed that the only way to establish a self-sustaining moose population in Colorado was to transplant animals from neighboring states. In 1978, CPW conducted the first transplant of 24 moose from Utah and Wyoming to Colorado's North Park region near Walden. Over the next three decades, biologists released more than 200 additional animals from Wyoming and Utah to the Grand Mesa and other areas of the state.
Today, Colorado is home to more than 2,400 moose and boasts one of the fastest growing populations in the lower 48 states. In fact, the animals are doing so well that moose are vamoosing the mountain parks where they were originally introduced and are expanding into new territories. In recent years, moose have even ventured into Front Range suburbs.
Although a favorite viewing animal among Colorado residents and tourists alike, moose are extremely unpredictable and dangerous, and they will charge aggressively if disturbed or threatened. CPW has increased hunting licenses in recent years to help manage growing populations, offering moose hunting in 57 game management units throughout Colorado.
Moose Research Projects: