As a key component of the Bring Back the Boreal project, Parks Canada staff have been monitoring moose populations and their impact within the park and surrounding areas using various methods.
Browse surveys are conducted in the early spring of each year on North Mountain and French Mountain. These surveys determine the amount of vegetation in the area that has been browsed (eaten) by moose within the past year, specifically on balsam fir and white birch trees. Through the comparison of browse surveys on North Mountain (the location of the moose harvests) and also French Mountain (a similar geographical region), ecologists will be able to determine whether the harvest is resulting in less browsing and greater tree growth on North Mountain.
Moose tracking takes place on North Mountain in the winter months, and is dependent on snow conditions. Parks Canada staff monitor the movement of moose within the area by recording tracks, pellets, snow levels and recently-browsed trees. This data is useful in determining the time of year that overbrowsing takes place and the number of moose that use the North Mountain area during the winter months.
Moose Population Surveys
Moose population surveys are conducted by helicopter, and are carried out periodically to record moose density in the park and surrounding area. Every two to three years, Parks Canada, the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources observe and record moose populations in Northern Cape Breton (from Baddeck onwards).
Additionally, the Bring Back the Boreal project conducts aerial moose surveys in the following areas:
- 20 km2 study area on North Mountain; the location of the moose harvest
- 20 km2 south of the study area; park land
- 30 km2 north of the study area; land outside of the park