Like all good tourists our family once went to “Moose Alley” – the section of Route 3 from Pittsburg to the Canadian border where you’re most likely to spot the enormous gangly beasts wandering along or near the road. We did see several moose, so all was good.
Spotting moose in the deep woods is another matter, as recent UNH research indicates:
Traditionally, moose population density has been measured with winter aerial surveying using helicopters. However, alternative approaches, such as surveys of hunters’ harvests, unpiloted aerial systems (drones) and camera trapping, are being used more frequently.
The research found that aerial surveying was used in more than half of the assessed studies, as was “sightability”—surveying in which moose were actually seen and identified. Assessments that did not account for “sightability” likely underestimated moose population density, often due to the wide range that moose often inhabit—upwards of 40 square miles in the summer and less than 15 miles in the winter—that makes estimating species density challenging, Moll explained.
UNH report on the study, with links to the study itself, is here.