Developing Cost-Effective Strategies for Managing Moose in Colorado
Northwest Colorado (Rabbit Ears mountain range); Northeast Colorado (Laramie River drainage); Southwest Colorado (Upper portions of the Rio Grande River and near Lake City)
To develop alternative cost-effective strategies for harvest and management of moose populations.
To incorporate moose life-history characteristics into management plans.
To compare moose survival rates across the state.
To collect data on moose disease and health.
With limited budgets, wildlife managers must often prioritize management funding based on details such as:
- Species abundance
- The amount of revenue generated by a species
- The endangered or threatened status of a species
Moose are less abundant in Colorado than elk and deer, thus funding for moose management tends to be lower in comparison. In addition, moose populations are more difficult to estimate because most of Colorado's moose herds live in forests, making aerial observation difficult. As a result, reliable moose population data are limited. Without these data, wildlife managers cannot make fully informed licensing decisions.
Fortunately, other factors besides population abundance can inform wildlife managers about moose population status. For example, reduced pregnancy and survival rates can indicate low food availability due to increased herd sizes. Using these other factors, researchers will develop population models that wildlife managers can use to manage moose populations in the state.