Moose


BC Fish & Wildlife recently had some films made up that explain some of their methods and share the results of some recent surveys.

Peace Moose Survey

What is done with survey data.

Hart Ranges Caribou Survey

Alsek Moose Survey

North Skeena Caribou Survey

 

 

 

We’re back!

Hello again everyone and welcome to the first email of the 2017 BC Moose Winter Tick Surveillance Program!

We are excited to be going again and looking forward to seeing results from the 2017 season. Last year proved to be another great year for survey participation and we received just over 500 submissions. This year were looking to do even better.

PLEASE NOTE:  After reviewing feedback from last year’s survey, we have added another “Body Condition” variable. So please be sure to use the newest survey.

For those of you who are new to the program, I have included information below that outlines what this program is all about:

The BC Wildlife Health Program is looking for help from wildlife professionals and the public with observations of hair loss caused by “Winter Ticks” on moose throughout the province.  The Moose Winter Tick Surveillance Program wants to collect observations to monitor the number of animals with hair loss and the amount of hair loss on each animal to estimate winter tick prevalence and distribution.  This program will occur on an annual basis.  Winter ticks are a significant parasite for moose populations and can contribute to moose declines in parts of their range, including BC.  So, it is an important health factor to monitor, particularly with climate change and alterations to moose habitat.  The findings of the surveillance program will contribute to the Provincial Moose Research Program, which was initiated in 2013 to investigate factors influencing moose populations in BC.

Winter tick infestations can be observed on moose during February through April.  The ticks spend the entire winter on one moose and there can be as many as 10s of thousands on one individual.  As the female ticks become adults they feed on blood in late winter and the irritation causes moose to scratch and groom themselves excessively, resulting in hair loss.  The extent of the hair loss is a rough indicator of how many ticks are present and can be observed easily from a distance.  We know that tick infestations can result in behavioral changes or direct health impacts that may reduce moose survival.

I hope that you may be interested in contributing to this surveillance program by recording your observations of both healthy and infected moose during the winter and spring. (more…)

The Gorley report has been released after Mr. Al Gorley travelled the Province talking to stakeholders and First Nations. The BC Wildlife Federation was highly involved in the process. The Province is acting on all 21 recommendations in the report. Some of the immediate actions taken include:

  • Reducing the number of limited-entry hunts for moose cows and calves from 1,792 in 2011 to 200 in 2016.
  • Preparing moose management plans for the Peace, Omineca and Cariboo regions.
  • Using existing tools to increase habitat protection.
  • Expanding moose survey work planned for this winter to include calf mortality.

Read More

BC Moose Tracker App Logo

B.C. Moose Tracker is an official Government of British Columbia app that allows hunters to play an important part in moose conservation and management.

The app, available through iTunes, lets users upload information on the number, sex and location of moose they encounter in the wild directly to a province-wide database. The collected data helps monitor moose populations and alert wildlife staff to emerging issues.

The app supports the government’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the provincial moose management strategy through the modernization of licensing, inventory and research methods.

As an added bonus, the app includes a digital version of 2016-2018 Hunting & Trapping Regulations Synopsis.  It’s an indispensable, searchable summary of hunting seasons and regulations throughout B.C. – including interactive maps.

The Province developed B.C. Moose Tracker in consultation with the B.C. Wildlife Federation and with the financial support of the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch , iOS 7.0 or later.

Download the app from iTunes

(more…)

Cow and calf moose showing signs of tick infestation.

Some of you will have participated in the “citizen science” effort over the last couple of years by using your phone to submit sightings of moose and recording the condition of the moose with respect to signs of ticks.

The study indicates that a large percentage of moose in our area suffer from tick infestations.

Michael Bridger, one of our local government fish and wildlife biologists led the study for the provincial Ministry of Forests, Land, and Natural Resources. He said though the ticks are not always fatal, they can cause severe problems.

CBC Article.

March 19, 2016 Moose Management Open Meeting

 

Peace-Liard Moose Management Pan (PLMMP) – Raychl Lukie is the Project Manager of the PLMMP for FLNRO, but Chris Addison, Director of Resource Operations was at the club to do the presentation.

Peace-Liard Moose Management Plan Scope

The PLMMP process started because there was a need to rethink moose management, which had been mostly lacking in recent times in the Peace-Liard. This fact, a request from Treaty 8 to talk about moose management, and the existence of a Wildlife Collaborative Management Agreement with several first nations got the process started. The initial process deliberately involved only government and First Nations with the exclusion of other stakeholders.

Chris Addison estimates that the annual moose harvest in the region is about 4000 and is split about equally between licensed hunters and First Nations. There is an estimate of 50,000 moose across the region, so a harvest of 4,000 is not seen as an issue. Most of the First Nations harvest occurs outside of the season set by the hunting regulations for licensed hunters. The tracking and reporting of First Nations harvest was brought up in the discussions, but there is no agreement to do that. We indicated that is was time for First Nations, Government and other stakeholders to be at the table at the same time. Chris Addison committed to approaching First Nations about that and suggested that an event at the club might be a good way to start things off.

The population target ratios for moose are 30 bulls/100 cows and 30 calves/100 cows.

First nations generally support predator management (especially wolves).

Main Components of the PLMMP

  • Determine and population objective for moose by game management zones
  • Habitat Management – there has been some maintenance and protection recently, but no focus on increasing suitable habitat. The goal is to also do the later.
  • Moose Health Assessment – monitoring for winter ticks, other diseases, or conditions that might be association with industrial activity.
  • Tracking moose movement and habitat use.
  • Tracking interactions with caribou and predators
  • Inventory, including investigating links to cumulative effects
  • Predator Management

A question was asked if there was sufficient funding and staffing at this time to make all this happen and the answer was NO.

Timeline:

  • April/May 2016 – Draft PLMMP
  • May – consultation
  • July – revised draft
  • August – final draft
  • September – plan approval and implementation