We are currently four months into our third year of data collection studying the survival and reproduction of moose in NE Washington, as well as the behavioral strategies employed by these animals across the region’s diverse habitats. We have recorded more than 700 approaches of GPS/VHF radiocollared adult female moose and their calves to estimate their fecundity (calf production) and survival. Additionally, we continue to obtain data regarding variation in risks and resources across our study area through: 1) camera-trapping for predator occupancy, 2) remote sensing for topographic and vegetation information, and 3) temperature recording within various habitat types to evaluate the availability of thermal refuge for moose.
Of the original 51 moose collared in winters 2013-14 and 2014-15 by WDFW personnel, 36 adult female moose are alive and on-the-air as of 28 September 2016 (17 = north, 19 = south). Calf production this year has mirrored that of the previous two years (approximately 0.68) and it remains to be seen if calf survival does the same (trends detailed below). Annual adult survival has averaged approximately 0.87 and the causes of mortality have been diverse. Data collection for this three-year project will be complete in June 2017, with results and conclusions presented in late fall 2017 (projected).
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