Park staff began a moose research project in 2017, to better understand how moose use habitat in RMNP. Moose presence has been increasing annually on both the east and west sides of the park, with recent reports showing animals observed in every major drainage in the park.
As part of this research, park staff are collaring up to 40 moose throughout the park. Information on moose population size, population growth rate, and carrying capacity as well as habitat use will be gathered from this research. Moose have not been previously GPS collared in the park, and affixing collars will assist greatly in collecting this important information.
Beginning Monday, July 22 an aerial survey of moose and elk on the summer range will be taking place in a variety of locations in the park. These flights will be taking place early each morning. The flights will produce information on the number of moose and elk on the landscape, as well as composition information (i.e. information on the number of cows, calves and bulls in the population). While this aerial survey is designed to best collect information on moose, it is an excellent opportunity to obtain information on the park’s elk population size and composition on the summer range as well. This data will be collected using an infrared, or thermal imaging, camera, as well as with high definition color video. Infrared capability allows for improved detection of animals in thick forests and wetlands.