History of Moose in the Adirondack Park:
In the Adirondack State Park, the moose (Alces alces) population has an interesting natural history compared to other wildlife, reflected only by few moose populations in the Northeast. Although in the past population sizes were abundant, moose were actually extirpated (became locally extinct) from the Adirondacks and the rest of New York in the 1860's. This was during a period in Adirondack history of unregulated hunting, numerous wildfires, and intense habitat alteration caused by desforestation. It wasn't until the 1980's, after hunting laws and land management regulations were established, that moose could naturally immigrate into the state from neighboring populations established in Canada and New England.
Although biologists from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) first thought the moose wouldn’t remain in New York, for the last 30 years they have been recolonizing parts of their former Adirondack range. The estimated population is now between 600 to 1000 individuals, and biologists believe it no longer consists of young migrants, but is an established breeding population. They base their estimation on public observations of animals, tracks, and scat, known moose mortalities, and observed reproduction. Biologists also believe that the population is increasing 10-15% each year, similar to moose populations in Vermont and New Hampshire.
Call for Moose Sightings:
The use of wildlife sightings from citizen scientists for understanding species' distributions has a long and successful history in wildlife biology. DEC biologists rely on wildlife sightings to help estimate population numbers, to understand the distribution of individuals throughout the
region, and to record the types of habitat used by the species. Many New York organizations (both state government and non-profit), have been recording observations of moose since the late 1980s. Some of these observations have been collected into a database and then projected onto landcover maps of the Adirondacks for habitat analyses, including understanding habitat preference (see map - each star represents a moose sighting, while each color signifies the year of observation).
This webpage has been developed to facilitate a centralized location for all moose observations in and around the Adirondacks. Multiple organizations can make use of this information, and the public, both local and visiting, can be a part in helping everyone understand the future of moose in the Adirondacks. Please take the time to submit your sighting, as all submissions are greatly appreciated!
If you have seen a moose the Adirondack region,
please fill out a Observation Report Form.
Need help identifying moose?
If you have any questions about this project or trouble with the submission form, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last updated: 20 June 2012