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There are two distinct populations/genetic lines of moose in Nova Scotia:
– the Mainland Moose; these are Eastern Moose (Alces alces subspecies americana)
– the Cape Breton Moose; these are Northwestern Moose (Alces alces subspecies andersoni)
There are controversies surrounding both of them.
We hear often about moose being “endangered” in Nova Scotia. The endangered moose are the “Mainland Moose“, a term applied only in NS to the Eastern Moose, referring to the fact that they are found only on the mainland, and not in Cape Breton, although they were present in C.B. historically. The Eastern Moose also occurs in New Brunswick, and were introduced to Newfoundland in 1904.
The major issues related to Mainland Moose are
(i) its low numbers and continuing decline;
(ii) the failure of NS Government/Lands & Forestry to follow through on its commitments to protect the Mainland Moose following its designation as an Endangered Species in 2003.
The current population of moose in Cape Breton is derived from eighteen Northwestern Moose that were moved to Cape Breton Highlands National Park from Island National Park, Alberta in 1947/48. (The Eastern Moose went locally extinct in Cape Breton in the 1800s.)
There have been two major issues concerning the CB moose in recent years:
(i) an overabundance of moose in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park “where the burgeoning moose population has taken a toll on the area’s forests…Moose in Cape Breton have destroyed about 11 per cent of the forest due to the species’ vigorous feeding on young coniferous trees.” (CBC Aug 28, 2017);
(ii) illegal hunting of moose on Hunter’s Mountain in Cape Breton under the guise of non-licensed but permitted hunting by Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq (view CBC Sep 15, 2017).
For more intro, view:
Moose in the News in Nova Scotia
Post on NSFN Sep 1, 2017