I examined factors influencing the summer movements of adult female moose (Alces alces gigas) at high density in interior Alaska, USA from 1996 to 2003. First, I tested how the distance moved from 4 to 0 days pre-partum was related to migration, change in cover use, reproductive maturity and individual behavior. Second, I evaluated whether long movements prior to parturition were related to predation on previous neonates. Third, I measured the scale of spatial fidelity exhibited by individuals to areas used in early spring (13 to 15 May) and areas used for parturition. Lastly, I compared summer movements of adult females during periods of low and high population density. Net movement of females 4 to 0 days prior to parturition was related to migration and a change in cover use. Movement was not related to reproductive experience, individual behavior, or prior predation of neonates. Pre-partum movements were longest for moose moving from open to dense cover. Individuals displayed higher fidelity to areas used in early spring (13 to 15 May) than to areas used for parturition. This predictable use of fine-scale areas may facilitate effective management of forage quality in early spring.
Thesis (M.S.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2005
Table of Contents
Spring movements and spatial fidelity of maternal moose -- Restricted movements of Alaskan moose at high versus low population density -- General conclusions -- Literature cited.
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