Moose | National Wildlife Federation

Pair of Moose


Alces americanus
status : not Listed
animal stat indicator
classification : mammal

Moose are the largest members of the deer kin, standing six feet ( 1.8 meters ) tall from foot to shoulder, and weighing in at more than 1,000 pounds ( 450 kilograms ). Each of their light to dark brown hairs is hollow, and the air trapped inside provides insulating material. A flap of skin called a dewlap hangs from the throat. Males are distinguished from females by their antlers, which grow up to six feet across .
Moose are found in the northerly regions of the United States, from Maine to Washington, throughout Canada, and into Alaska. Due to their big size and insulating fur, moose are limited to cold climates. Forested areas with streams and ponds are ideal elk habitat .
Adult moose use their antlers or hooves to defend themselves from predators like bears and wolves. The much smaller calves are easier for predators to take down, and many of them fall victim to predation before reaching their first birthday. Moose besides suffer from a predator of another sort, parasitic genius worms. White-tailed deer are carriers of the parasite, but it has no consequence on them. When deer stool, the brain worms are transferred from their waste to land snails. When elk unwittingly eat the snails while foraging for food, they ingest the leech .
Moose are herbivores. The word “ elk ” is an algonquian term meaning “ eater of twigs. ” Moose are so grandiloquent that they have trouble bending down to eat grasses, so they prefer to feed on leaves, bark, and twigs from trees and shrubs. Their favorite foods come from native willow, aspen, and balsam fir trees. They besides munch on aquatic plants from streams and ponds.

Life History
Male elk, called bulls, begin to grow antlers in spring to prepare for the fall entangle season. Large, suppurate bulls with well-developed antlers normally get to mate with the female elk, called cows. When bulls are competing for the same overawe, they may use their antlers to fight off their opponents. After the coupling season, bulls drop their antlers. They regrow them again in the spring .
The new calves stay with their mothers for a year before venturing off to live a hermit life style. Moose can live more than 20 years in the angry, but many begin to suffer the symptoms of previous old age before then. A more typical life is 10 to 12 years .
massive and imperial, moose are a cherished wildlife icon of North America. Moose much roam through residential areas looking for food, and motorists occasionally collide with them. Hunting and habitat abasement are major threats to moose, but now climate change has caused elk populations in Minnesota to fall dramatically .
Moose are being hurt by overheating, disease, and tick infestation— all tied to warming temperatures. Moose are in hazard across the United States, from New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine ; to Minnesota and Michigan ; and evening Montana .
Overheating : Heat affects elk immediately. These big mammals require cool climates to thrive, and summer heating system stress leads to dropping weights, a capitulation in pregnancy rates, and increased vulnerability to disease. When it gets besides warm, elk typically seek shelter rather than foraging for alimentary foods needed to keep them healthy. many New Hampshire cows have been under the weight necessary to successfully bear calves the last few years and are producing fewer calves than they did a ten ago. many biologists are concerned that they will have a unmanageable time adapting to climatic variability .
Too Many Ticks: Warmer winters have besides caused spikes in the tick populations, further devastating the elk population. Ticks leave elk weakened from blood loss, and many die of anemia. Ticks besides leave elk more vulnerable to exposure in the winter after their attack to rub off the ticks leaves them with hairless patches. The New Hampshire elk population has plummeted by more than 40 percentage in the last ten from more than 7,500 elk to merely 4,000 today, and biologists attribute some of this decline to increasing leech loads influenced by shorter winters caused by climate change .
Changes in the Earth ’ sulfur climate directly endanger two treasured wildlife-associated pastimes in northern woods—wildlife-watching and amateur hunt. Wildlife watching and hunting are not just recreational pastimes ; they are besides a major subscriber to the local economy, with wildlife-associated expenditures bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars to states like New Hampshire. In New Hampshire, declining elk numbers have lead to a 80 percentage decrease in elk hunting permits, depressed from 675 in 2007 to fair 124 in 2014. As the elk population drops, the recreational activities and associated tax income surrounding the species is sure to follow.

To ensure the survival of cherished wildlife species like the elk, policies and practices are needed to address climate change. This includes reducing carbon pollution adenine well as adopting climate-smart approaches to wildlife conservation. We must make a dangerous attempt to reduce carbon paper befoulment at every level—from the choices we make in our households to the policies we adopt as a nation. America needs to embrace the development of responsible clean energy, such as wind and solar. And we must prepare for and manage the impacts of climate deepen to conserve our wildlife resources .
5 Fun Facts
1. Male elk grow a set of antlers each class during the bounce and summer. By capitulation, antlers can span six feet from tip to tip.

2. Though female lack antlers, they aggressively protect their babies with potent kicks that can break bones or even kill predators.

3. Moose are browsers, feeding on the leaves and twigs of trees and shrubs, chiefly willow, birch, and poplar.

4. Moose are excellent swimmers, able to hold their breath submerged for 30 seconds.

5. Despite their big size, moose can run at over 35 miles per hour .

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