Moose

(Alces alces)
Bull Moose

 The moose is the largest member of the deer family. Adult males, or bulls, can weigh from 1,200 to 1,600 pounds in prime condition. Adult females, or cows, weigh 800 to 1,300 pounds. At birth, calves weigh 28 to 35 pounds and grow to more than 300 pounds within five months. Adult color ranges from golden brown to almost black while the hair of newborn calves is generally red-brown fading to a lighter rust color within a few weeks. In addition to their long legs, moose have a drooping nose, a "bell" or dewlap under the chin, and a small tail. Only the bulls have antlers which they shed every year usually in December and January. In the wild, moose rarely live more than 16 years. 

Moose are herbivorous. During fall and winter, they consume large amounts of willow and birch twigs, or browse. As new leaves and plants emerge in the spring and summer, moose will begin grazing as well as browsing. Moose eat a variety of foods, particularly sedges, horsetails and grasses. During summer, moose feed on submerged pond weeds in shallow rivers, ponds and lakes. 

Moose breed in the fall with the peak of the "rut" occurring in late September and early October. Cow moose generally breed first when they are 28 months old, however, some may breed as young as 16 months. Cows give birth to 1 to 3 calves from mid-May to early June. Twins occur more frequently in good range conditions. Triplets are rare. Calves stay with the cow during their first 12 months after at which time the mother chases them from the area just before giving birth.  

Moose are preyed upon by wolves and brown and black bears. Local hunters rely on moose as an important source of food. 

When the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge was created in 1980, very few moose were present. As adjacent moose populations increased they expanded onto the eastern one half of Togiak Refuge. Favorable habitats have allowed moose to increase their numbers and range. Togiak Refuge's Moose Population Monitoring project has additional information about the moose population.  

Resources  

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Facts About Moose

Largest member of the deer family. 

Bulls can weigh up to 1,600 pounds.