Moose are iconic animals in British Columbia and play a vital role in the well-being of many communities and individuals. First Nations rely on moose for social, ceremonial, and sustenance purposes. Moose also provide sustenance and recreational opportunities to resident and non-resident hunters. Sustainably managed hunts balance sustenance needs for people of BC with providing important social opportunities and economic benefits.
Ministry staff and partners continue to undertake surveys, research, assess moose health, and work closely with First Nations and stakeholders to better inform management decisions. Moose management includes population inventory, habitat designation, habitat enhancement, and assessment of species interactions. More information can be found in the 2015 Provincial Framework for Moose Management (PDF, 3.3 MB) and A strategy to Help Restore Moose Populations in British Columbia (PDF, 1.0 MB).
Since 2013, the Province's Provincial Moose Research Project has been investigating the influence of landscape change on cow moose survival. More recently, monitoring calf moose survival has become a key component of the project.
Moose Investment Categories
Moose are an important species to ecological, cultural and economic systems. The Province invests significant resources into moose conservation and management, as do many other organizations including First Nation’s governments, resource development companies and non-profits. Identifying the investment categories, goals, and examples of priorities and performance measures is expected to support coordination and communication across the province and various organizations to improve outcomes for moose.
Other Moose Management Work in B.C.
The most recent moose population estimate for B.C. is 110,000 to 185,000.
Some surveys analyzed the estimated population size and density of moose on the landscape while others were done to determine the composition of the moose population (a key indicator in determining population trends). For regional details see the 2019 Moose Factsheet.
Wildlife Health Matters Training
The B.C. Wildlife Health Program, in collaboration with a number of First Nations and the First Nation Health Authority, developed a Wildlife Health Matters training workshop for First Nation communities, which includes moose-specific health information. The full-day workshop is delivered on request. It includes discussion on general aspects of wildlife health and how to develop a community driven wildlife health assessment and monitoring program. It may also involve a practical demonstration of sampling techniques for hunters and community members. The workshops have been held at community halls, culture and hunting camps and are built around the hunted species of most interest to the community as well as any issues of concern. A series of posters and fact sheets have been developed for this program that includes photographs and descriptions of common diseases and parasites. The workshops are delivered in partnership with the Wildlife Health Program and First Nation Health Authority-sponsored online Local Environmental Observer Network. Please contact the B.C. Wildlife Health Program if you are interested in bringing a Wildlife Health Matters workshop to your community.
Provincial Moose Winter Tick Survey
The annual Provincial Moose Winter Tick survey, initiated in 2014, is continuing. The degree of hair loss reported by the public and government staff provides a measure of the prevalence and severity of tick infestations on moose, which can have a direct impact on their survival.
Provincial staff continues to communicate closely with First Nations and stakeholders on program delivery and status of the moose management and research. In addition to significant in-house expertise, the Province also works collaboratively with universities to improve science information to guide moose management.
The Province also commissioned a series of short films on wildlife survey methods and the results of some recent wildlife surveys. This is part of an ongoing effort to find innovative ways of sharing the information we collect with the public. Videos include:
- How we count moose
- Alsek moose survey results from the Skeena Region
- Peace Region moose survey results
BC Moose Tracker is an official Government of British Columbia app that allows hunters to play an important part in collecting information to inform moose management. It is available for download through iTunes. The app allows hunters to upload information about moose they encounter, or time they spend hunting without observing a moose, directly to a province-wide database, helping wildlife staff monitor moose populations. The BC Moose Tracker app was developed by the B.C. Government with support from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and the BC Wildlife Federation.
Finding shared solutions for moose and caribou management in B.C
Ensuring the resiliency of B.C.’s moose and caribou populations is of critical importance. Getting there won’t be easy and will require a holistic approach that doesn’t focus on just one species, habitat, or management strategy. Through continued research and an adaptive approach to management, the Province of B.C. hopes to improve the long-term persistence of caribou and maintain healthy moose populations in the Province in collaboration with First Nations and stakeholders.