Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: New York
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

New York Project

Density estimation of moose in New York State: investigations into the apparent decline

April 2015 - August 2019


Participating Agencies

  • Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future
  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Kieckhefer Adirondack Fellowship

This project will investigate the apparent declines in the moose population within New York. We will implement a spatial capture- recapture (SCR) study of moose in New York to estimate population density. This method will employ scat detection dogs to survey moose scat, which will then be used to genetically identify individuals. The SCR models that are developed will be used to study processes such as resource selection, movement, space usage, and landscape connectivity, contributing to moose management by providing inference on the impacts of land-use patterns, climate, disease, and interspecific interactions on population processes. We will make recommendations regarding efficient survey designs that incorporate both occupancy-level survey data (possibly including remotely-operated trail cameras, observations from hunter surveys, etc.) and non-invasive genetic sampling so that rigorous range-wide surveys can be conducted to estimate abundance and density. The project, in collaboration with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and The Wildlife Conservation Society, will also focus on developing broader management and population goals for moose in New York, including the characterization of stakeholder concerns for population-level thresholds.

Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Wong, A. 2018. Methodologies for abundance estimation of moose (Alces alces) and other rare species. MS Thesis. December 2018