Southeast Moose populations are stable

Moose populations are doing well in southeast Alaska

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Juneau has seen an increase in the number of moose appearances in recent years.

Kevin White of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said recent counts showed 300 moose in Gustavus and over 110 in Berner's Bay.

A moose wandered onto the Mendenhall Glacier last summer and caused a stir.

White said there were no moose here in 1910 but over the next 60 years the moose gained a food hold in our region.  "Changes in climate has sort of resulted in moose colonizing southeast Alaska and other parts of the state in the last 100 years."

He said people might be more aware of moose in the region, "We have seen more sitings in the past five years.  Moose are coming from the Berner's Bay population.  That population has been growing in the past five years.  Severe winters in 2006 and 2007 had lowered the populations there but they have recovered."

The average moose lives about 10 years.  Only 25-30 percent of moose calves survive until their first birthday.  "That is enough to allow populations to maintain stability or slightly increase.  It is pretty common not only in Alaska but other states.  We don't have good knowledge as to why not all the calves survive.  Predators, malnutrition and other things play a role."

The main predators of moose are bears and wolves.

White said he thinks the future of moose in southeast Alaska is bright.  He gave a presentation as part of the US Forest Service Fireside Lecture Series held each Friday at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.  Lectures are held through March at 6:30  and again at 8 pm.





More from News of the North