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Wattles, David

(M.S. WFCON)

Project:

Movement and landscape pattern use of moose (Alces alces) colonizing southern New England

Contact:

dwattles

Holdsworth 323

Position:

Research Assistant

Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

Department of Environmetal Conservation

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Support: 

Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

Department of Conservation and Recreation

United States Geologic Survey

Safari Club International

Faculty Advisor:

Stephen DeStefano

Project abstract:

Hunting and clearing of forests for agriculture lead to the extirpation of moose (Alces alces) in Massachusetts following colonization. Moose began naturally recolonizing Massachusetts from northern New England in the mid-20th century and had established a breeding population by the 1980’s and 90’s. Massachusetts and southern New England represent the southern extent of moose range in North America outside of the Rocky Mountains. Massachusetts is the third most densely populated state in the country and due to limited logging, has little early successional forest, an important food source for moose. As moose continue to re-colonize their former range in southern New England, questions arise relating to their ecology, management, and interactions with humans. We are studying how moose are adapting to and using this unique environment. We are collaring moose with global positioning system (GPS) collars to study their movements, habitat use, interaction with roads and development, and how they are coping with the higher temperatures at the southern edge of their range.

 

Updated: October 17, 2011